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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In The Ring Two, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts, in a decent performance)
and her son, Aidan (David Dorfman, much better in the first film), pack
up and move to Oregon. Rachel gets a job at the local newspaper, and
everything is fine and dandy. But when she learns of an apparent
homicide, she immediately suspects involvement with Samara and the
haunted videotape. She destroys yet another copy of the tape, but that
only makes Samara angrier. Now, Rachel has to find a way to put Samara
to rest once and for all, before it's too late.
This had potential to be a solid sequel, but it isn't. It lacks nearly everything that made the first film good, namely scares. And that's the biggest problem. The Ring Two is just flat-out not scary. The Ring's strong point was it's atmosphere. Creepy, eerie, unsettling, and above all, scary. The Ring Two doesn't have atmosphere. It doesn't really have any sort of suspense whatsoever. It relies far too much on jolt scares. Every once in a while Samara jumps out to say boo, and that's really all there is to the scares. An utter disappointment. In fact, attempts at scares that did not involve Samara were the ones that got laughed at, namely a scene where a herd of deer demolish Rachel's car. The entire theater was laughing from the beginning to end of that scene.
Elizabeth Perkins and Gary Cole make appearances as a doctor and a Realtor (the latter providing brief, though appreciated comic relief), and Sissy Spacek makes a brief appearance as Samara's birth mother. It's sad to see such a great actress in such a limited role. Simon Baker plays a co-worker of Rachel's. He is the largest supporting role, though we don't learn any more about him from when we first see him to when the film is over. In all, The Ring Two has a well assembled cast that doesn't disappoint.
The only real problem with the first film was that it left you with more questions than answers, and The Ring Two only answers a couple, creating more questions along the way. What is Samara? Why was she born the way she is? Is she a demon? What is she?! Don't bother asking, because it's never answered. Though you can't help but wonder if it's better that way. What if we found out that she's really the devil? Would that just create more questions? It probably would. Maybe some questions are best left unanswered.
The score manages to be occasionally chilling. Plenty of violins and pianos add something to the otherwise bland environment.
If you look at it as more of a supernatural thriller than a horror film, The Ring Two is not a bad way to spend 111 minutes. It's an interesting enough ghost story that is well acted, well directed (though I expected better from the director of the original Ringu), and has a good score. Despite it's numerous flaws, it manages to be OK, which is better than nothing. But the lack of sheer horror and uneasiness takes away a lot from the experience. The Ring Two is definitely a disappointment, but it's not all that bad.
The movie trailers were promising. The premise was semi-promising.
Oddly enough both the premise and the trailers were scarier than this
sequel to The Ring. Yes, the original Japanese director returns and he
conveys the images and symbolism very well, but he does not provide
anything engaging here. The two movies do not seem to necessarily
connect. It's almost as if they remade the first Ring with a few
additions. There is not a lot of new material presented here. The movie
tries to scare us by using either the same or similar events from the
first. The ominous music playing throughout the film and the fact that
this sequel was made so nonsensically are scarier than the movie
itself. There are too many things that occur that you just have to
accept without explanation. And then after the movie's done, you'll be
left with plenty of questions including how the first one relates to
this one. I cannot place some of those questions here without spoiling
anything, so I'll leave that up to you. Okay, let's move away from the
negative and talk about the few positives this film has. The acting is
much better than the average horror film and, as stated before, the
images are presented very well. The visuals are nice and you come to
slightly care about some of the characters, although most of them do
ridiculous things. Other than that, I cannot think of much else to say
that is good. This movie was just disappointing. Do not watch this with
high expectations unless you are easily scared and jump at the "sudden"
music and scenes. The first Ring was good. It was different and
well-made. I did not find it particularly scary, but bizarre. This just
relies on music and jump surprises. Fear doesn't even come half circle
in this film. If you liked the first Ring and expect to see much more
about the story, you may be disappointed as well. But if you only want
to see a different version of part one, then you may enjoy this sequel.
Good luck =)
Naomi Watts could not save this. Not even a descent performance by
herself could save this this mish mash of a sequel that had the same
affect as Exorcist II: The Heretic. By the climax, EVERY one around me
in the theater was laughing. No joke. The dialogue becomes unbearably
tedious and the plot becomes atrociously abstruse. The film follows
Rachel Keller into Oregon where she tries to forget the events of the
first one, but then Samara shows up wanting a mommy... and that is the
point of the film. All that CGI crap for absolutely nothing. And that
is exactly what this film is. No, really, I am not going to dignify
this film with a review worth reading. I am sure Naomi Watts would
rather have changed Samara's diaper then done this film!
This film honestly has no guts, spunk, or attitude that the first film had. This film is a bunch of special effects covering up a paper thin plot.
Avoid like the plague!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The one sentence review of this movie is that it sucks. Pretty straight
up. But no one likes the criticism "sucks." They want reasons. Allow
CGI deer. A whole whack of them. A whole whack of unexplained CGI deer. One wonders if they couldn't find horses to continue the story from the first movie so they figured fake deer was the way to go for part 2. And just to try to make it seem like it wasn't 100% lame and irrelevant they toss in antlers at the Morgan homestead. Oh, well then, it all makes sense now. Or not.
Did anyone even listen to what Samara's birth mother said? She tried to kill her baby cuz the kid told her to in her head. Just like Rachel's son told her to in her head. To get rid of the thing inside her. So the "thing" in Aiden isn't even Samara, it's just some damn nameless thing the writer's never explain beyond a casual line about some watery world beyond that possessed Samara as a baby. OK....whatever...
Samara wants a mommy. You know what I want? Some friggin Vicodine to slip me into a drug induced coma so I can wipe the memory of that lame as lame plot contrivance out of my head. But wait, it gets worse... she wants to watch TV with her mom. That's about it.
Excuse me, I need to go yank some of my hair out.
This thing from some nether world that can make things happen with the power of its mind gets killed in a well, comes back from the dead through VHS tapes and murders people within 7 days of witnessing said tapes then inexplicably possesses a living boy.....cuz she wants to watch TV with her mom? Who the hell wrote that? What drooling, mittens-pinned-to-his-coat, Scooby-Doo-lunch-box-carrying, lazy-eyed, fat-necked, Lysol-huffing, ice-cream-smeared-on-his-face, laughing at the antics of Uncle Joey on Full House idiot wrote that? That is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in my life.
Does she want to kill millions? Does she want to inflict suffering on mankind? Eat the living? Make a race of obedient slaves? Reign in darkness? No, she wants to watch friggin cartoons from the 50's and eat sammiches with ma on the sofa. The mind reels at the absolute idiocy.
So, to reiterate, this movie sucks. Do yourself a favour and stay away. If you hated the first one, this one will make you wish you were stricken blind by burning embers before you put the DVD in. If you liked the first one, this will make you mourn for a half decent story and a film that doesn't induce bile production. And if you saw this one and liked it we clearly can't be friends. I'm sorry, I'm sure you're a nice person though.
I'm not a horror fan at all, but got invited to this screening and decided to go see what all the hoopla was about. What I got was an interesting piece which I might sooner qualify as a supernatural thriller than a horror movie (but I guess that's what J-horror movies are). Sure, it's quite gross in a couple of places and there are a few heart-stopping moments as well, but what really impressed me was that the entire movie, from the first minute to the last, is filled with this weird kind of suspenseful energy. Even when literally nothing particularly frightening in itself is going on, it still feels «off», it's still unsettling, uncomfortable, on edge. And that for me was the strength of this movie. Not having seen Hideo Nakata's previous Ringu movies, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he seems to be a master of creating an atmosphere scarier than any special-effect driven sequence could. All the actors did a good job as well and Sissy Spacek's cameo was a nice touch though I would have liked to have seen a bit more background to the Max-Rachel relationship. All in all, I predict a good show at the box-office for this one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Did no one who made this mess ever see the first Ring movie? I mean, how many years was Samara at the bottom of that "SEALED" well and she seemed to have no problem getting out and about when she felt like it. Having Rachel thinking at the end of the movie that the only way to stop Samara is to seal the well...wasn't she the one in the first one who un sealed it? Why would sealing it now stop her? And when did Samara ever have a problem finding someone she was looking for? The kids in the first movie watched the tape at the cabin and then went back to their homes and I doubt that they left a forwarding address for Samara to find them. When in The Ring 2, Samara grabs Rachel's arm and says "I found you." Please...did Samara loose her Map Quest? I could go on and on with the HOLES in this POS movie....I was a big fan of the first Ring and also the original RINGU, but this was just TRASH! This movie was not creepy or scarry at all...but just down right CRAP! I thought if they did this right the studio may have a nice franchise on their hands like a Jason, Freddy or Michael Myers...but did they ever blow it. Sure it made 36 million the first week...but I bet it will fall so fast you will hear the studio heads spinning.
The Ring was my favourite film of 2002, the best horror film I'd seen
in ages, and I subsequently saw and enjoyed (with the exception of Ring
0 - What the hell was that?) all the Japanese films as well.
So when I heard that the director of the original films was set to do the second "remake", it was suitably excited. Imagine what he could do with a bigger budget and better technology? It is however, not even close to the first, and such improvements don't surface (same CGI, C-list Hallmark Channel cast). It does manage to keep you nervous throughout, but the proper scares are too infrequent and it appears to take itself too seriously. This is all too evident when the creepiest kid in cinema is admitted to hospital and The Ring 2 turns into a child abuse drama for around twenty minutes, leaving you wondering when it'll pick up a bit again.
It's also the kind of film that demands that you re-watch the first one before you go to see it; the opening makes no sense unless you've seen "Rings" on the Collectors Edition DVD, and there's a ton of stuff that may have easily been forgotten if you saw the film three years ago.
It's alright; it's a horror sequel-remake thing, so you don't expect too much and you wont be disappointed, but you can't help but think it could have been done a bit better.
I LOVED The Ring, so naturally, I was ecstatic about seeing The Ring 2. What a disappointment! The movie didn't have much of a plot (even for those of us with more creative imaginations), and, because of that, it was difficult to follow. I found myself being bored more than anything else and waiting for the next scary scene to shake me awake. The special effects were pretty good, and all the cast members did a really good job with their roles, but despite their abilities, the movie failed to make an impression half as good as the original. There are several points in this movie when you feel like you begin to catch on to something that will eventually make sense (and make it worth your money), only to be let down at the conclusion of the scene. Better save your money and wait for this one to hit rental shelves...I wish I had.
I have always believed that the horror genre is the most difficult to
master. To make an effective horror film takes an amalgamation of
talent, luck and one intangible that most cannot figure out. To me, you
have to love the genre and you have to have little studio interference.
Films like Halloween, Last House on the Left, Evil Dead, and Texas
Chainsaw Massacre were all low budget and independent films and all
were pioneers of the genre. All were also emancipated from any studio
intervention which more often than not can destroy a director's vision.
I would think that somewhere in Urban Legend and The Haunting's
vernacular was a good film until the morons who knew nothing about film
got a hold of it.
I mention all of this as a precursor to the review because The Ring was a modern day miracle. It was the scariest horror film in twenty years and it was a studio project. I honestly never thought that a film made by Dreamworks would touch a nerve in the way it did. But with direction by Gore Verbinski and Ehren Krueger writing one of the best scripts I've ever been privy to, The Ring scared the hell out of me.
To do a follow up was almost a no win situation. Not since Nightmare on Elm Street 2 has there been a more disappointing sequel than this one. I don't know where to lay the blame, because Ehren Krueger, whom I respect very much, returned to pen the sequel and you have the director of the Japanese film that started it all, helming this one. So where does the blame fall? Was it the studio who interfered too vehemently? Was it that the Japanese original was that inferior to the Dreamworks version? Or is it just that lightning doesn't strike twice in most films? I'm not sure what the answer is to that perplexing question, all I know is that this is about as much of a true dichotomy from the first. You can't get any further apart.
Naomi Watts is adequate as Rachael and David Dorfman is passable as Aidan, but the continuation of Samara story is perhaps the weak link here. In the original, she was an enigma. Her story was such a mystery that it kept you guessing as to what she was and where she came from. There was a blend of The Changeling and a bit of The Shining all rolled into one. A sequel succeeds when it extends the story, not just retells it. There was no continuation of the story here. No one bothered to explain why Samara can come through the TV and petrify you to death. No one bothered to explain why she is still haunting people through videocassettes. No one bothered to explain anything. Now maybe some are okay with that. Maybe a mystery should remain a mystery. But if you can get past the regression of the story, then what is even more disturbing is that there is nothing remotely disturbing, interesting or scary about the film, and everything that was freaky about Samara in the first one is now like watching Scooby Doo and mystery of Samara. There is no fear of her now. There is nothing remotely disturbing about her. Maybe I was expecting too much, but this film is one of the weakest sequels I have ever seen. If they decide to make a third, they had better go back to their roots and get Verbinski back.
Is it wrong to expect this much from a sequel? Maybe. But then again, there are sequels that can match the original, if not surpass it. At least two of the Friday the 13th sequels surpass the original and if you are talking non horror, then you can also add films like Lethal Weapon 2, Bourne Supremacy and of course classics like Terminator 2, Aliens, Godfather II and Empire Strikes Back to the list of sequels that either equaled or surpassed the original. Now in my opinion, Nakata is not on the same level as Cameron, Lucas or even Copolla, so there is no reason to believe that he can create a better film that Verbinski did. But suffice to say that everything that made the first such a paradigm for years to come, has vanished in this one. It is truly unfortunate as it feels like too many politicians in this one threw their hat into the ring and tried to make changes that did nothing but give us another Nightmare on Elm Street 2.
And that is a shame.
Everyone knows the story of The Ring. You watch this tape and your
phone rings and some creepy little girl says "Seven Days" which means
you have seven days left to live. In The Ring Two, it forgets that
story. The movie focuses on Rachael (Naomie Watts) and her son Aidan
(David Dorfman). Racheal and Aidan have left their home that they used
to live in and to start fresh in Astoria, Oregon. It is 6 months after
the events in the first movie. However, Racheal's resolve quickly turns
to dread when evidence at a local crime scene including and unmarked
video taped-seems familiar. Racheal realizes that the evil Samara is
The original Ring was scary and thrilling. The sequel isn't loaded with terror. But there are some scenes when I did get a bit terrified. Before, seeing it, I expected to be jumping up and down out of my seat and being really scared. The Ring Two is not a bad movie, I just expected a little more.
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