Going in I have to admit I had the lowest expectations for this movie. And indeed it starts off seeming like a complete joke with a scene on a plane that is reminiscent of “Snakes on Plane” but with an evil spirit, flies, and black sludge instead of snakes. The theater filled with laughter for the first five minutes.

A plot about a film that kills people who watch it is in itself offputtingly hokey. Previously I was never a fan of “The Ring” or “The Ring 2,” and I did not find either of them memorable to say the least. But, this sequel starts off in such a comedic fashion that most people will no longer have expectations to be scared. But this may not be a bad thing at all.

After the first few scenes something happens, and the film begins to be more artsy rather than hokey. Trippy effects like rain flowing upward or weird black liquid that almost looks like melted latex flowing out each time the evil spirit is coming, make this a surreal piece of entertainment. This film is actually best described as a modern day dark fairy tale and not a horror film.

Parts of the plot are very dark as you learn the complete story of Samara. Themes of captivity, murder, infanticide, and child molestation subtly peak into the plot. But it does not delve too far into these aspects which could have been truly twisted, instead it veers off into a more modern theme.

A college professor, Gabriel (Johnny Galecki), who teaches an experimental biology course and studies the afterlife, discovers the deadly film when he buys an old VCR. After watching it himself he comes up with a creative way of keeping himself and others who watch it alive. Hint – it involves a selfish pattern of sacrifice, which is a bit darkly comedic but also a realistic and shadowy reflection of human nature.

“Rings” is no horror masterpiece, but it is entertaining, unique, and a tad bit creepy.

2.5 out of 5 stars.