Returning for the third time to round out the trilogy, Samara comes crawling back into theaters after over a decade of being gone. When she appears again chasing a man on a plane, the videotape is discovered by a curious professor, Gabriel (Johnny Galecki). He begins to experiment with the film having college students watch it including Skye (Aimee Teegarden) and Holt (Alex Roe). They will continue to pass on the digital copies of the film before the seven days are up and they are dead.
Julia (Matilda Lutz) has visions and worries about her boyfriend Holt who has disappeared. When she gets a strange Skype calls from Skye, she heads to the college to investigate. Holt explains Gabriel's experiment but Holt is running out of time as more people are wary after Skye's deformed face appears online. Julia takes on the video but things are different now. There is a new video embedded in the digital code that gives this plot a whole new mystery to pursue.
Following her hallucinations, Julia and Holt head to a small town where a woman once disappeared long ago. The woman turns out to be Evelyn, Samara's mother, and the mysterious circumstances caused Samara to continue her warnings through the video copies. She encounters Burke (Vincent D'Onofrio), a blind man who watches over a dilapidated church and the old graveyard where Samara's body is supposed to be buried. The goal is to burn Samara's corpse and end the curse so that Julia can live past the seven days.
The logic continues to breakdown as the scares come every so often. They did not utilize the horror of the crawling little girl with her black hair hanging over her face, especially with the abundance of screens in our daily lives. Samara can use anything from a flat screen to computers and even phones can serve as a conduit. The horror could have done a lot more to scare but was focused on the mystery and stole from other better horror films.
The Ring series should be done after this film as the ending took it to extremes. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the video spread far and wide but I don't the awful box office will inspire a filmmaker and production company to revive this franchise for many years to come. I didn't think it was a total waste of a movie as there were some spooky scenes and good jumps, Samara is an iconic horror villain, but this is nothing special. It helps to catch up on the mythology before going to see this one though there are some discrepancies from the plots of each one.