7 days. Those two words became a bit of a horror catchphrase for a while following the 2002 release of director Gore Verbinski’s The Ring, an American adaptation of Hideo Nakata’s Japanese hit Ringu. One of the best remembered fright flicks of its decade, The Ring starred Naomi Watts as Rachel, a reporter asked by her sister to investigate the bizarre and unexplained death of her niece. Rachel’s search led her to a mysterious videotape full of unsettling imagery. Once watched, the viewer then received a phone call warning them that they now have 7 days to live.

The Ring was both a critical and commercial smash, earning a 72% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and bringing in nearly $250 million worldwide on a budget of $48 million. Needless to say, Watts’ Rachel did indeed survive her encounter with Samara - the murderous ghost girl whose curse haunts the aforementioned video - and returned for the 2005 sequel The Ring Two. With Nakata himself now at the helm, one would think The Ring Two would have lived up to the original’s greatness. One would be wrong, as the sequel’s 20% rating on RT will attest.

Following the negative reaction to The Ring Two, the franchise has remained dormant for over a decade, but that will soon change with the arrival of belated threequel Rings. While still technically taking place in the same universe as the prior two entries, Rings focuses on a new cast of characters, in a new setting. As one might imagine, time has also necessitated the casting of a new Samara, as original actress Daveigh Chase is now well into adulthood. Paramount has just released the latest trailer for the film, which can be seen above.

Interestingly enough, the two biggest mainstream names in the cast - The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki and Daredevil’s Vincent D’Onofrio - seem to be having their roles downplayed, with Galecki making a blink and you’ll miss it appearance in the above trailer and D’Onofrio not appearing at all. Instead, the focus is on young lead Julia (Matilda Lutz), an Italian actress for which Rings will be her first Hollywood film. From the looks of it, Rings director F. Javier Gutierrez is hardly taking it easy on her either (see the “hair in the throat” gross-out bit, for case in point).

Can Rings succeed in reviving The Ring as a viable horror franchise? The fact that it has been delayed multiple times isn’t exactly encouraging, but it wouldn’t be the first long-delayed movie to defy expectations. For the sake of The Ring franchise fans, here’s hoping that audiences are left talking about Rings for more than just 7 days after they watch it.

Source: Paramount Pictures

  • Rings Release Date: 2017-02-03