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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.17%
Worth A Look: 8.33%
Average: 21.88%
Pretty Bad40.63%
Total Crap: 25%

7 reviews, 54 user ratings

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Ring 2, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"THIS is the thanks we get for making Part 1 such a hit? Thanks for nothin'!"
1 stars

This no-brain, assembly-line sequel is so predictably beholden to its predecessor that you can practically smell the reek of formula cooling on its hide. It's not scary, it's not fun or exciting or even remotely creepy; "The Ring 2" doesn't even bother to include what made the first chapter so surprisingly entertaining. As a matter of fact, it practically expectorates upon what the fans were hoping for.

One of the most challenging and intriguing things about Ringu and its American counterpart, The Ring, was its rules. There was a strict, firm, and unbreakable set of guidelines laid down in these movies, rules so stringent and concise that they connected seamlessly with the creepiness of the plot. There was a videotape, a deadline, and a creepy ghost who owned your soul if you strayed from the rules one measly iota. This was the backbone of both Ring movies, and it was a clever enough gimmick to yield several sequels on both sides of the Pacific.

Needless to say, we Americans have the market cornered on sloppy seconds, and this shamelessly inept sequel is only the most recent example. Returning from the original are screenwriter Ehren Kruger (working entirely on auto-pilot), leading lady Naomi Watts (with her performance set firmly on sleepwalk mode), and the world's most annoying child actor. (David Dorfman, looking like the lost Culkin kid and behaving like a miniature comatose Bill Pullman.)

Remember all that deliciously nasty stuff about demonic video cassettes and unimpeachable deadlines of death? Yeah, all that stuff is gone here. The videotape conceit is given casual lip service in the first act of this sequel, and (for some moronic reason) never referred to again. It would be like making a sequel to Back to the Future and not using the damn Delorean. Deadlines? Nope. Watts is content to wander around aimlessly, periodically stopping in to see a freaky old woman in one scene (Sissy Spacek really does deserve better than this) and avoiding a herd of vicious reindeer (!) the next. Don't forget one golden rule of sequel-making: if you have a homicidal horse in Part 1, you absolutely must have homicidal reindeer in Part 2 ... even if the freaky elks have literally no bearing on the rest of the brain-damaged plot.

Without the employment of the previously mentioned videocassette from Hell, the movie just mopes around with no urgency and very little excitement. How the ethereal Samara manages to terrorize her prey makes no sense at all. Sure, the VHS tape is not much more than a thinly veiled McGuffin, but it indicates that there are at least some rules in play. The first flick was smart enough to stay within the parameters of its own created world ... and it followed the rules. The Ring 2 cannot be bothered with such narrative bullshit; it's just a nonsensical collection of annoying jump-scares and meandering plot holes. Oh, and it's all capped off with one insipid F-bomb catch phrase, as if to underline the fact that acquiring that PG-13 rating is infinitely more important than, y'know, making a half-decent horror flick.

I can't really say what sort of quality I was expecting from a sequel to a remake, but I sure expected something a lot more intriguing than this boring and inert mass. Perhaps it's that director Hideo Nakata was just hired as a studio puppet -- or perhaps the director of Part 1 (Gore Verbinski) is a much better filmmaker than he gets credit for. Frankly, I chalk the whole sorry affair up to brainless Hollywood sequel-making in general; when you have a follow-up that's a guaranteed smash hit no matter what, I suppose it's easy to intentionally gloss over things like narrative structure, plot cohesion, character development, and plain old common sense. In lieu of all that stuff ... we get killer reindeer. Let me know when the next Ring shows up so I can let my voice-mail answer.

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originally posted: 03/20/05 10:50:42
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/13/17 morris campbell one is better two is not bad 3 stars
6/08/10 David Hollingsworth Better than most horror sequels 3 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. better than most other lame "horror" movies, though it wasn't that scary... 4 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 3 stars
1/04/08 Bozofreak Jesus, it kills me to give it one star, but unfortunately there isn't a "no star" option. 1 stars
6/02/07 aurora very good 4 stars
1/29/07 Stanley Thai A better film than the original but not any scarier. 4 stars
10/02/06 Pritchett A complete letdown after the very good remake...too bad. A waste of time. 1 stars
8/16/06 anthonyuk total garbage, why did they bother! 1 stars
5/17/06 Anthony G I was laughing so hard!!!....oh wait... this was a horror flick. 1 stars
5/01/06 Del Killer Deer.. you know, hunting is bad and all... yeah, right 1 stars
4/14/06 ghvhvmghvhvghkgv boring and very predictable 3 stars
1/22/06 John Ward it had a weak story line wasn't scary and left more questions than it answered 4 stars
10/14/05 eddiejohns Not satisfying at all!!! 2 stars
10/01/05 tatum Doesn't come close to the original 2 stars
9/20/05 Jonathon Holmes the only great horror films that we will ever see are the ones from the past 1 stars
9/02/05 ES A disappointing original, follows through with a disappointing sequel 2 stars
8/31/05 Indrid Cold Ironically, series creator Nakata can't manage even 1/10th the impact of Verbinski's film. 3 stars
8/28/05 Breanna I really like David Dorfman 5 stars
8/25/05 Caiphn As a huge fan of The Ring, this was extremely disappointing. Deer scene = laughable. Bad. 2 stars
8/10/05 Tina Scism Best film 5 stars
7/22/05 Jordan okay once again sequals and prquels suck except some the director should die now..bad movie 1 stars
6/26/05 Andrew Kennedy This is one of those movies, that will keep u hiding under ur coat for the whole movie 5 stars
5/24/05 E-FUNK Fucking worthless sequel. I could not stand this movie. Hopefully, it killed the series. 1 stars
5/17/05 Shawn Borucki Hideo Nakata's disappointment. Stick with the original, but it was better than Rasen. 2 stars
4/15/05 shatonjia Keep the money...I want my 90 minutes back. 1 stars
4/13/05 Junior LaRoche I hate current American remakes. Awful movie. 2 stars
4/09/05 Denise not as good as the first 3 stars
4/09/05 Brittany Tate You can not be scary to see this movie 4 stars
4/08/05 haha this movie sucks 1 stars
4/06/05 dj very predictable, yet needed to fill in the holes in the first one, they both suck 2 stars
4/04/05 ELI kinda boring, sucky compared to the first. and what the fuck was up with the deer?????????? 2 stars
4/03/05 M Plot holes!!!!!!!!! poor naomi! doesnt suck but is on the verge! 3 stars
4/02/05 Landshark haunting Suspiria melody by the Goblins was wasted in this awkward sequel 3 stars
4/01/05 Kyle Seriously. What the fuck? 1 stars
3/31/05 Death Dogg Huge plot holes. I guess anyone can be a screenwriter these days. Off to Hollywood I go! 1 stars
3/30/05 pattonjr5 naomi was great.even critics who hated ring2 realized that.women made ring a hit, not scott 5 stars
3/29/05 Mix Master Mason This movie is NOTHING like the first RING. It doesn't even try to be good. 1 stars
3/26/05 Greg Ursic Plumbs the very depths of badness. 1 stars
3/25/05 malcontent boring and scareless 2 stars
3/25/05 hannaho A very poor attempt to make a buck off the first movie. 2 stars
3/24/05 Goatse Retarded Americunts and their retarded scripts and remakes 2 stars
3/24/05 Colleen Goldrick Disappointing 2 stars
3/24/05 Jin More from the Queen of Melodrama. 1 stars
3/23/05 Naka The sequel to one of my favorite horror films of all time is...god DAMNIT. 1 stars
3/23/05 Jack Bourbon Almost works, but doesn't quite 3 stars
3/21/05 Roy Asshole Smith Turned the whole theater green. It's OMFG Boring! WTF? 2 stars
3/20/05 Tyrantis Great MST3K fodder. 1 stars
3/19/05 Mark McLeod Not as good as the first one, not really the same type of movie either 2 stars
3/19/05 mott the drupal but it has a guy named kruger that wrote it?!?! 1 stars
3/19/05 PAMELA HANSEN once is enough please stop th maddness 2 stars
3/17/05 Steve K interesting story 4 stars
3/11/05 Uncle Phucker Saw a screener at the mall a month ago. Solid acting and very entertaining. 4 stars
2/06/05 Lynis Wing ok, not bad, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy 4 stars
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  18-Mar-2005 (R)
  DVD: 23-Aug-2005



Directed by
  Hideo Nakata

Written by
  Ehren Kruger

  Naomi Watts
  Simon Baker
  David Dorfman
  Emily VanCamp
  Sissy Spacek
  Ryan Merriman

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