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Overall Rating
2.26

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 Rob Gonsalves

"Even more needless sequel; worth it for Naomi Watts, but just barely."
2 stars

The 'Ring' mythology, at this point, is almost as dense as 'The Ring of the Nibelung' or that other famous work about a ring.

It all started with a novel by Kji Suzuki, and as a reviewer on the Internet Movie Database puts it, "There are many different films, television series, books, comic books, etc., based on the 'Ring Universe,' and it's very complicated trying to sort them out." It's just as complicated to work out the lineage of The Ring Two. It's a sequel to the 2002 American remake of the original 1998 Japanese Ringu, and it follows more or less the same plot as Ringu's 1999 sequel. Furthermore, the director of Ringu and Ringu 2, Hideo Nakata, has been recruited by DreamWorks to helm The Ring Two. Got all that?

Not that it matters much. The appeal of The Ring to American teenagers (its biggest audience) was its urban-legend premise -- the idea that a spooky videotape passed from kid to kid could kill you within seven days of watching it. In The Ring Two, the malevolent little-girl spirit Samara returns, but this time she isn't content to spread the word about the way her mother murdered her. No, this time she wants a new mommy. So she settles on Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), who thought she'd laid Samara's soul to rest in the first film. Rachel has moved far away from Seattle, finding work as a copy editor at another newspaper (which affects the plot so little that she might as well have a job at D'Angelo's). Her son Aidan (David Dorfman, as eerily waxlike as before) starts running a lower-than-normal temperature. Strange watery things happen. Samara, it becomes clear, wants to inhabit Aidan's body.

If Aidan suddenly took up an interest in the Powerpuff Girls, the movie would be a tad more fun. As it is, Aidan has such a ghostly flat affect to begin with that the only noticeable change is that he starts calling Rachel "Mommy" instead of "Rachel." Aside from a borderline ludicrous sequence in which Rachel and Aidan, driving on a back road, are assaulted by a group of irate deer -- a nod to the maddened horse in The Ring, I guess -- there's very little fun to go around in The Ring Two, and scarcely any suspense or terror. The movie discards its urban-legend frisson and becomes about the tribulations of single mothers -- Rachel, who at one point seems ready to drown Aidan just to force Samara out, and also a madwoman named Evelyn (Sissy Spacek in a walk-through), who, it's revealed here, is Samara's true birth mother and tried to drown her as a tot.

"Fear comes full circle," promise the ads for The Ring Two, and we could indeed have had a cumulative horror classic if the promise were real -- if the legacy of child-murder repeated itself, Jack Torrance-like, in Rachel. I can envision a Ring Two in which the real victim of possession is Rachel, who is tricked by evil Samara into thinking her son is corrupted by the ghost, and goes insane and actually drowns the boy -- or is caught attempting to, like Evelyn, and gets locked away for life. That would give the movie a point, and a horrific punch, that it doesn't have.

Instead, The Ring Two becomes banal and literal, with Rachel getting sucked into the videotape's reality, where she goes down that old well again and sloshes around in that filthy water (Naomi Watts, please fire your agent) and confronts Samara one last time. If we're lucky. Forgive the pun, but maybe Hideo Nakata has gone back to this well one too many times. His work here is utterly uninspired, with no true scares to speak of except for two moments when a victim's fear-disfigured corpse turns up (and even that was done better in The Ring). I can't imagine anyone being freaked out by The Ring Two the way even impressionable teens were spooked by The Ring.

And can we have a moratorium on girl ghosts with long black hair covering their faces? It worked fine seven years ago, but now you just wonder why they don't trip over something.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11679&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/17/07 15:29:01
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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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Mar-2005 (R)
  DVD: 23-Aug-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Mar-2005


Directed by
  Hideo Nakata

Written by
  Ehren Kruger

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



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