Rings Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Rings by Matthew Margeson.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 78.7
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 1.8
Album Excellence: 3.2%
Rings is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez and starring Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe and Johnny Galecki. It is the third film in the American Ring franchise and follows The Ring from 2002 and The Ring Two from 2005. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a movie within the movie that no one has ever seen before. The score is composed by Matthew Margeson.
I have great memories of The Ring, but not so much from the American versions. I got the first Japanese film called Ringu on DVD not long after it came out and I was watching it in my grandparents house all alone. Big mistake. I didn’t get much sleep that night. The Ring was terrifying and little Japanese girls with long black hair has to be up there with my fear of clowns. The American versions was ok, but they could never match the horror of it’s Japanese original. With Rings they are trying to do something new with the Ring franchise, but the reviews hasn’t exactly been great. Margeson though is a composer I have great respect for and has given me some amazing moments in recent years and I’m truly looking forward to this one. I loved the original score by Kenji Kawai, and to some degree I liked the Zimmer version as well. Hoping this is more like the Japanese version, because that is freaky.
The score opens with ‘First You Watch It Then You Die’ and immediately I’m a bit disappointed. There’s something about the lonely piano in horror that seems so over used. Give me strings, give me something scary. Something is about to happen though, an it almost does around 1:50 in, but then it goes into a deep electronic passage. I dig the action sequence near the end, but it sort of lose it’s horror appeal. Not the best opening cue, but there’s plenty of time to recover. Throughout this score you’ll hear all sorts of whispers and muffled scratching, but to me it doesn’t really feel scary. There’s one part in ‘Gabriel Watches’ that I love, when the strings get a bit of randomness to it, almost like a sound effect, that works great.
One of the best cues on the score hasn’t got horror written all over it. ‘Julia’ is a sweet theme for the main character. Judging by this music, she is a character one easily falls in love with, and I’m sure the music helps in the way we feel about her in the film as she’s going through the 7 days. The score wasn’t what I hoped it would be and knowing Margeson’s usually excellent output, I can’t help but be a little bit disappointed. The Ring franchise will forever hold a special place in my heart for some effective and creepy scares, but this doesn’t have the same feel as the franchise I remember.