Rings appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a largely positive presentation.
Overall sharpness looked fine, though exceptions occurred, as interiors could seem a bit soft. Still, most of the movie offered appealing delineation. I saw no signs of moiré effects or jagged edges, and neither edge haloes nor print flaws marred the proceedings.
In terms of palette, Rings opted for a heavily teal affair. Some amber/orange came along for the ride, but a drab blue-green dominated. These colors were well-rendered given the film’s stylistic choices.
Blacks looked fairly deep, though they could seem a bit thick at times, and shadows also offered mostly good imagery. Low light shots occasionally seemed slightly dense, but they were reasonably clear. This turned into a “B” presentation.
I felt a bit more impressed by the film’s atmospheric DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. Though the mix emphasized creepy ambience, it still managed to come to life in a dynamic manner when necessary.
This meant the soundscape used the various channels to create an involving setting. Various spooky elements popped up around the room and formed a nice sense of the action. Add a few bigger sequences – like a plane-based catastrophe – and this turned into an immersive auditory experience.
Quality also worked well, with speech that consistently appeared natural and distinctive. Music showed warm, full tones, and effects seemed accurate and clear.
Bass response worked really well, as the track featured deep low-end that contributed to the movie’s ominous vibe. I thought the soundtrack suited the material and added to the experience.
A handful of extras fill out the set, and we start with Terror Comes Full Circle, a 12-minute, 37-second featurette. It provides notes from makeup effects designer Arjen Tuiten, production designer Kevin Kavanaugh, stunt coordinator Keith Campbell, and actors Johnny Galecki, Bonnie Morgan, Aimee Teegarden, Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe and Kayli Carter.
“Circle” looks at story and characters, style and updates from the prior films, cast and performances, the director’s approach, sets and locations, and stunts. Most of this offers fluffy promotional fodder, so don’t expect to learn much about the production.
Called Resurrecting the Dead, a second featurette runs nine minutes, 19 seconds and includes comments from Roe, Morgan, Tuiten and Galecki. “Dead” looks at the film’s depiction of Samara, with a focus on Morgan’s performance and makeup/effects. “Dead” becomes reasonably informative.
Scary Scenes lasts six minutes, 35 seconds. It features Lutz, Roe, Galecki, Teegarden, Carter, and Morgan. The actors tell us their favorite moments in Rings. Yawn.
14 Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes take up a total of 18 minutes, 40 seconds. Of these 14, fans will probably find themselves most interested in the “Alternate Ending”, but they shouldn’t expect much from it. The “Alternate Ending” makes an implicit character development more explicit but doesn’t alter the finale in any other manner.
As for the rest of the clips, they tend to offer expository information, some of which helps makes aspects of the story clearer. We get a better idea why Julia doesn’t go off to school with Holt as well as her family situation. These moments may have slowed down a movie that already runs a little too long, but they flesh out Julia pretty well.
Others seem less interesting. We get a few more attempts at scares plus a smattering of attempts to develop the overall narrative. These fail to add much to the film.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Rings. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.
After more than a decade, the Ring horror franchise returns with a thud. Rings shows a glimmer of potential but it fails to exploit its positive possibilities. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture along with involving audio and mediocre supplements. Rings delivers a flat, scare-free tale.