The Ring 2

movie: The Ring Two (2005)

"The Ring" (2002) seemed a welcome release from the B-grade teen horror flicks that had flooded the market since the 80’s (with very very few exceptions). Here was genuine, gore-less, spine-chilling horror. It redefined the horror-film genre, mainly by giving its audience the benefit of a thinking faculty.

So with the success of Gore Verbinski’s The Ring, a remake of Hideo Nakata’s Japanese flick Ringu (1998), the horror film genre seemed up and coming.Hideo Nakata directed Ringu and another film, Dark Water (2002) based on the series of novels by writer Kôji Suzuki, both stories centering around the ghosts of abandoned children, both excellent horror flicks without much use of sfx or flashy camera work. The films also manage to be riveting despite the similar central character.

So if Hideo Nakata decides to direct the sequel to Gore Verbinski’s version of Ringu, the result should be awesome, right?


The tape is unfortunately still doing the rounds in teen circles. One such incident falls a little too close to where Rachel (Naomi Watts) is trying to carve out a new life for herself and her son Aidan (David Dorfman). So she goes to investigate, finds the offending tape and destroys it. Which more than annoys Samara. At first Samara just wanted to be ‘heard’, but now she wants a new mommy in place of the one who abandoned her. Ye gads, by this time I was yawning. So she plans to take over Aidan’s body. Yawn. As you pretty can much guess in the beginning, the Ring 2 explores the motherhood angle more than giving its audience the frights. Well, there are frights but its more because the surround system is exploding around you in between naps.

Now if you haven’t seen Dark Water the motherhood twist may seem new to you, but to those who have, this is old news. Dark Water involves the ghost of a tragically abandoned little girl, death by drowning no less, strands of very dark hair floating in clumps in tons of murky water. And guess what, the ghost of the mouldy little girl is looking for a new mommy to replace the one that was never there for her.(Zzz.) Samara tries to take over Aidan’s body while he’s in the bathtub (be wary of bathtubs now folks, the Boogeyman popped out of that one too).

Rachel sacrifices herself to be Samara’s mommy, then cons her out of it at the last minute. So the film reaches its end and all that you’ve been waiting for with bated breath never really comes. The only scary part is Samara (Kelly Stables) climbing after Rachel who is trying to escape from that nasty well yelling after her in a deep, gravelly voice that well, actually can scare the pants off of you.

The first flick already used the thematic elements of the snowy TV screen and the lonely well, the creepy atmosphere made even more creepy with the use of the blue filter, so that failed to instill too much excitement. Samara popping out of the TV, already been done. Flashes of the victims’ distorted faces shown for microseconds were enough to make you jump in the first flick. Here the shots of the silent, screaming, twisted faces of the dead seem to go on for millennia.Too many answers too soon in this film. And almost everybody dies in the same way, so you don't really feel sorry them after a point.

With reference to casting, the appearance of Elizabeth Perkins as a psychiatrist, her face normally seen in romantic comedies and hitherto digestible films like Moonlight and Valentino, just doesn’t fit. The face of actor Simon Baker (The Guardian), is pretty much a prop. And a pretty one at that, even after Samara gets to him.

The keyword to use is UNDERSTATED. Less is more. Ring 2 is not. The audience can think without jerky background thunder surround. Well, the writer of The Ring and Dark Water should sue because this movie is The Ring 1 recycled, slapped on with Dark Water, and kneaded very badly into a lame sequel that falls desperately short of the audience’s expectations.

-rhea daniel


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