Review: The Ring Two

The sequel was inevitable, but while the plot has been turned up a notch, the scares have been moved to the back of the well.

Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) has fled her native Seattle in view of surviving recent events in her life. In isn’t too long, however, before she and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) start hearing about mysterious deaths concerning a certain video tape (and a whole lot of water). Soon after, Aiden is stricken with an ailment that mirrors the effects of hypothermia while people close to Rachel begin to question her abilities as a single mother. Rachel must delve deeper into the history of Samara Morgan before her son is lost forever (and we’re not talking about social services).

To the film’s credit, it maintains a sense of creepiness throughout. While the core of the same cast is still involved, the story plays out like all the ideas that were cut from the first film. Purists who wanted more story from The Ring will find plenty to enjoy, but audiences coming back just for mores scares will likely be disappointed; Samara is still dangerous, but seems too familiar now to really be as scary as she once was. Perhaps it goes without saying, but a better direction may have been to continue with another cast solving their video rental problems a new or different way.

Director Hideo Nakata, the director of two Ringu films, replaces Gore Verbinski directing The Ring remake this time out. Again, there is a creepiness to the film that threatens to have things jump out at every moment, but the finished product lacks Verbinski’s crafting to keep everything both interesting, spooky, and still pull off the money shots at the same time. In fact, when something does jump out, the impact is diminished by high-concept special effects rather than enhanced; it’s just not as scary.

There are also more than a few continuity errors, the most glaring one is a bathroom full of water on the second floor that mysteriously doesn’t flood the living room downstairs when the door is opened (yeah, that nitpicky, but still true). While it may be premature to close the book on “the girl in the well on the video tape,” the biggest clue may be that the original Samara (Daveigh Chase) only appears in archive footage; even Freddy Krueger is still played by the same guy. Besides, shouldn’t Samara have upgraded to DVD by now?

(a two and a half skull recommendation out of four)

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About Grim D. Reaper

Your death angel critic for film and Halloween horror all-year 'round. Chitter - DeathBook - InstaGrim
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4 Responses to Review: The Ring Two

  1. Jason says:

    Possibly one of the most boring horror films ever created. I know the Japanese are into ambiance and atmosphere but practically nothing happens except flickering lights. Charlie Brown had a scarier halloween special. They also made Samara laughably weak. How is she killing full grown men if Naomi Watts can kick her down a the well like she’s a sofa cushion? Also, people keep talking about how it has more plot than the first one. I think they are confusing it with the director insisting on showing every insignificant thing Naomi Watts and her poor man’s Haley Joel Osment son do, like walking around a fair or drawing up a bath. Oh well, at least the first one was decent.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have never seen the Ring 2, but me and my mom are gonna see it!

  3. Alia says:

    I saw both of the movies, and I bought them both for late night parties of mine. The first one scared the hell out of me, and even after seeing it for like, the tenth time, some parts of it stilll make me jump. I odn’t know why everyone thinks that the second one was so dismal. Sure, it was somewhat mediocre compared to the first one, but as the old saying foes, “To rise out of mediocrity, you must not be afraid to fail.” Well, this movie took a decent stab at making it scarier than the first, and in some aspects, it was, but then again, in some areas, it just fell short of expectation.

    -Alia Emry

  4. My opinion was this: in the first Ring, Samara kicks butt. In the second, she gets her butt kicked. How scary is that?

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