Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Rings: short film that reveals
the secret and terrifying connection between The Ring and The
Ring Two. Deleted and Alternate Scenes. Imagination in Focus (Hideo
Nakata and the horror genre). Samara: From Eye To Icon. The Haunting
of The Ring Two. HBO First Look: The Making Of The Ring Two. Regions
MOVIE sequels tend to re-hash the same formula with diminishing
returns, so it is always refreshing to find something that tries
to do things a little bit different.
The Ring 2, a follow-up to Gore Verbinski's sleeper hit of 2002
(which was, in itself, a remake of Japan's most popular horror
movie), does exactly this, furthering the story in suitably creepy
What's more, it does so with the help of director, Hideo Nakata,
the man responsible for all three Japanese versions, who brings
his own distinct vision to the Hollywood horror market.
Picking up six months after the events of The Ring, the film
begins as a nervous high school student attempts to force a gullible
girl into watching the video that caused so much distress in the
first place - only to see the attempt backfire.
Enter Naomi Watts' investigative reporter, Rachel Keller, who
thought she had seen the last of the video tape when she moved
with her son, Aidan (David Dorfman), from Seattle to Oregon.
Distressed to find out that a new tape exists, she steals it
and destroys it, believing she has prevented the vengeful Samara
from emerging from it ever again.
But her actions merely place her
and Aidan back within the dead girl's reach and Samara quickly
possesses Aidan in a bid to exact revenge for the wrongs committed
by her own neglectful mother.
The ensuing tale plays out like a cross between The Exorcist
and Rosemary's Baby, as Rachel bids to understand Samara's motivations
and coax her from her son.
That it works as well as it does is due largely to the dedicated
performances of its cast and the wonderful imagination of director,
Nakata, who contributes a number of stand-out set pieces.
An early sequence involving an attack on Rachel's car by a herd
of deer is especially effective, while a bathroom scene, in which
Rachel battles Samara while her son is bathing, is no less impressive.
Both ought to have viewers jumping out of their seats given the
clever way in which they are orchestrated.
Elsewhere, the inherently creepy tone is sustained by the intensity
of the performances, whether it be Watts (who looks perpetually
scared), Dorfman (possessed and creepy), or the likes of Elizabeth
Perkins (who cameos as a nurse with a needle) and Sissy Spacek
(as Samara's institutionalised mother).
The only real weak point is Ehren Kruger's lightweight script,
which occasionally seems to be struggling to sustain the momentum
Yet given Nakata's presence behind the camera such flaws don't
appear as striking given the director's ability to toy with his
So while it may lack the originality of its predecessors, Ring
2 still possesses enough about it to prevent audiences from feeling
that they are merely going round in circles.
Editor's note: The Ring: Special Edition DVD
includes a 15-minute short film that serves to bridge the gap
between the original and the sequel. It's well worth checking
out to understand better the relevance of the Ring 2's opening