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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 EricDSnider

"You watch this movie and seven minutes later, you're bored."
3 stars

The laws of Hollywood dictate that any film grossing more than $100 million must produce a sequel, regardless of whether anyone has a good idea for it. The only things more common in America than lackluster sequels are critics' columns bemoaning them.

But I find "The Ring Two" particularly disappointing, not because it's a bad movie -- it's more mediocre than bad -- but because it so thoroughly fails to live up to its forebear. Deconstruct "The Ring," the uber-scary 2002 hit about a videotape that kills its viewers, and you'll find that nearly all of its positive qualities are absent in "The Ring Two."

We pick up the story six months later. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her young son Aidan (David Dorfman) have moved from Seattle to rural Astoria, seeking a new life and to forget the death and mayhem they witnessed in Seattle (an experience common to many residents of that city, I understand).

Readers who have not seen "The Ring" should not read any further, as secrets will be revealed. That film ended with Rachel and Aidan breaking the curse of the videotape by showing it to other people: Apparently, all the dead, wrathful Samara wanted was for people to see the weird tape she made (or commissioned; I was never clear on how, exactly, the tape came to be, though I can tell from watching it that college film students were involved).

Now, half a year later, the tape has re-emerged in little Astoria, and not everyone knows how to survive it. In addition, Samara (now played by Kelly Stables) begins making cameos in the dreams and waking life of Aidan, leading Rachel to summarily conclude -- correctly, as it turns out, but without much evidence to warrant the conclusion -- that Samara wants to take over Aidan altogether, to BECOME him and thus to live again.

The only way that idea doesn't give you the willies is if you've had your willies inoculation, but the film goes about executing it in entirely the wrong way. "The Ring" had a certain straightforward logic to it: You watch the tape, and seven days later you die, preceded immediately by sudden weird events (water on the floor, TVs turning on spontaneously, etc.) that foretell your imminent doom. In the sequel, there is no more logic. The odd events occur randomly and as harbingers of nothing in particular, and the movie is centered around them. Samara shows up, or lights flicker, or TVs turn on -- and then that's all that happens. It's a desperate movie's way of suddenly grabbing our hands in an attempt to startle us, hoping we will confuse being startled with being scared.

But "The Ring Two" is not scary. Granted, Samara retains a certain creepiness merely in the way she walks and moves, and there are moments early on where the movie achieves a modicum of dread. But beyond that, we have nothing but sudden jolts and senseless eeriness, scattershot elements that might be frightening if there were any rhyme or reason to them.

Sequels are uphill battles anyway, but particularly in the case of a movie that was based so much on solving a mystery: What's the story behind the tape and the creepy little girl? With those questions answered 2 1/2 years ago, there's not much that a sequel can do to surprise us without contradicting what we already know. Some new information is revealed by a crazy woman played by Sissy Spacek, but it might fall under the "contradiction" category. At the very least, it's too little, too late: Any movie that has its protagonist go to a mental hospital in search of guidance is grasping at straws. (Of course she's going to advise to listen to the voices in your head. What else would a crazy person tell you?!)

"The Ring Two" has a troubled history, with multiple re-writes and start-overs and several directors being involved. The screenwriter wound up being Ehren Kruger, who wrote the first film (well, adapted it from the Japanese flick of which it was a remake), and the director is Hideo Nakata, who directed both the original Japanese film and its sequel (which bears no resemblance to THIS sequel, by the way, and which is supposedly much worse). How two men who know the material well enough to get it right got it so wrong, I don't know. Perhaps that's the mystery we should be investigating now.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/18/05 10:56:40
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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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