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In this sequel to Ringu (1998), Mai Takano is trying to learn more about the death of her boyfriend, Ryuji. She soon hears stories about a videotape haunted by the spirit of a girl named Sadako, who died many years earlier. Supposedly, anyone watching the tape will die of fright exactly one week later. After some investigating, she learns that Ryuji's son, Youichi, is developing the same psychic powers that Sadako had when she was alive. Mai must now find some way to keep Yuuichi and herself from becoming Sadako's next victims. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
Even though Sadako had been around for a long time (there were Suzuki Koji's source books and two previous TV movies), it was the theatrical version of Ring that made her huge. So, of course, there has to be a sequel (which, oddly enough, wasn't based on the next book in Koji's series; different filmmakers had already adapted that as Spiral). It's a daunting task to make an effective sequel to one of the all-time creepiest movies, but the filmmakers pull it off. Unfortunately, a lot of stupidity gets in the way of the scares.
A lot of plot in this one. The movie opens a week after the first one ends. Reiko's dad has just died, and she and her son have gone into hiding. Mai, who found Ryuji's body at the end of Ring, is investigating her boss'/boyfriend's death. She thinks Reiko and her son hold the key to this mystery. So she teams with one of Reiko's co-workers (who's still working on the story of the cursed videotape) to try and track Reiko down. At this point, there's already enough plot for a movie, and I haven't even mentioned the return trip to Sadako's old home, the doctor who thinks he can get rid of Sadako, the burial of Sadako's physical body, the girl the co-worker betrays (and literally comes back to haunt him), and the weird, scary "exorcism of Sadako" finale. Plot, plot, plot.
Before I tear this movie a new one, let me say one thing: minute for minute, this one has more scares than the first one. In fact, the filmmakers have realized that Sadako has become so commonplace (a Sadako doppleganger appears in almost every Japanese horror movie made after the first Ring) that they need only show her trademark hair to invoke fear. And it works. But the massive, ridiculous plot nearly kills this movie. While it tries to explain the occurances of the first movie, it raises more questions than it answers (why does everyone suddenly have psychic ability?; why are people who haven't even seen the tape haunted by Sadako?; how does that girl see the tape if all the copies have been destroyed?) Still, with all of these potholes, the movie still works. It's also nice to see almost the entire cast of the first film reprise their roles (even the dead ones). An effective thriller, even though it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Fans of the first one won't be disappointed.
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