Plot: After the death of her grandmother, Karen (Gina Philips) inherited the woman’s rural home, which is also where Karen grew up. She plans to sell the estate, but first she has to clean up the property and perhaps do some minor repair work, to ensure the best possible price. Once she and her boyfriend arrive, they begin the process and also meet Pearce (Tom Sizemore), the friendly, but also odd caretaker who has lived on the property for years. Soon her boyfriends returns home to work and Karen’s sister Wendy (Jenny Mollen) arrives to lend a hand, when strange things start to happen and the house is filled with an eerie atmosphere. The sisters also become concerned about Pearce, who comes off as kind and perhaps even a little slow, but also shows flashes of creepiness that unnerve them. Is Karen in danger and if so, is the threat a supernatural one or just a deranged handyman?
Entertainment Value: I love the idea of Tom Sizemore as a creepy caretaker, but Ring Around the Rosie is a dull, forgettable slice of horror cinema. The awful title isn’t even the worst part of the movie, as this one meanders along at a slow, often glacial pace and tries to redeem itself with a twist finale. But the twist is by no means effective, let alone interesting and certainly not worth the boring trek to reach it, leaving this one as more or less a total dud. The story is fine, if unoriginal, but there’s no real hook or fresh elements to keep you interested, while the cast mostly comes off as disinterested, so energy levels are low here. I wish Sizemore had more screen time, as he is the lone positive in Ring Around the Rosie, but the movie stays focused on Gina Philips and the lackluster core narrative. I couldn’t much to like here, as the movie is so dull and doesn’t even lean into the horror for atmosphere or scares. Unless you’re a Sizemore fanatic, this one is tough to recommend.
No nakedness. You do have an awkward scene with Tom Sizmore in an amorous mood, but the movie chickens out and doesn’t go for broke. This one is rated R, but shies away from violence and bloodshed for some reason. A few light instances of the red stuff pop up, but they’re minor and have little visible violence involved. A quick cut almost always happens or the violence happens off screen, so a tinge of crimson is present at times, but not much. This is an odd choice, as the R rating clearly allows for some horror related violence, but it never happens. I have to think the rating was due to several uses of the word “fuck,” otherwise it could pass for PG-13 with ease. The dialogue does what it needs to do, but is bland and forgettable. I will rack up on point for Sizemore’s attempts to pump life into this generic material, but even that is a generous stretch. No craziness, even Sizemore is reined in to the point he can’t do much and there’s no weirdness to report in this one.
Overall Insanity: 0/10
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