The Ring Two (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/03/2005

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 110 mins

A disappointing follow-up to the Hollywood remake, despite two good sequences and a strong performance from Naomi Watts.

There are so many different Rings and Ringus floating around now that keeping track of them all requires impressive levels of franchise devotion - Hideo Nakata's original Japanese horror flick spawned a sequel (Ringu 2), a prequel (Ringu 0), a remake (The Ring) and a TV series. So where does The Ring Two fit in?

Sequel To The American Remake

Well - and pay attention, because this gets complicated - it's a sequel to the Hollywood remake, but it has a different plot to the Japanese sequel, presumably because the Naomi Watts character doesn't make it to the final reel of Ringu 2. Just to make things that much more complicated, however, The Ring Two is directed by Nakata himself, director of both Ringu and Ringu 2.

The film opens in a similar way to the first movie, with a panicky kid attempting to show his girlfriend the Killer Video before his time expires. However, Nakata quickly ditches that element of the story, except to use it as an excuse to bring TV-dwelling demon child Samara (Kelly Stables) to the town where Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her already creepy son Aidan (David Dorfman) have holed up after the events of the first film.

Rachel gradually becomes convinced that Samara is trying to possess her son, in order to turn her into the mother she never had, so she investigates the demon child's origins in the hopes of saving Aidan before he turns EVIL.

Japanese horror films all seem to favour atmosphere and shrieky shock moments over plot and The Ring Two leans dangerously in that direction, except that it forgets to include many scary scenes. It's also unforgivably dull for long stretches at a time and the climax is a shockingly lazy rehash of the climax in the first film.

Two Impressive Sequences And One Star Turn

That said, there are at least two impressive sequences. The first has Rachel and her son attacked by some malevolent Kamikaze Deer, a scene that's as bizarre as it is terrifying (a walk in Richmond Park will never be quite the same again). It also ties in neatly with the original film's most impressive addition, the scene with the horse on the ferry. The second sequence is that familiar staple of Japanese horror, the bathtub scene, which is well directed and features impressive water effects.

Naomi Watts is excellent, giving a more complex performance than the film really deserves and portraying Rachel as a mixture of anger, toughness and vulnerability. However, Dorfman is so good at playing creepy kids that there's very little difference between 'normal' Aidan and EVIL Aidan and this backfires considerably. The film also completely wastes Sissy Spacek in an effective but all too short cameo - maybe they only had her for a day.

In short, The Ring Two is just about worth watching for Watts's performance and for the admittedly scary deer sequence, but it's a disappointing sequel overall. Rent the video instead (and then pass it on to someone else, etc).

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Content updated: 22/10/2017 19:55

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