Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Ring Two

I really enjoyed the original The Ring film (both the Japanese and American versions) and I was really looking forward to the continuing story of Rachel, Aidan and Samara.

This sequel was NOT what I was looking for.
It's more like a step backwards when compared to the first film. The original films both featured character driven horror and a mounting sense of tension and dread. We grew to like the players and actually cared for them. The rules that were established were creative and helped to make the film scarier than its B-movie premise. Plus it helps when you have talented people both in front and behind the camera.

This sequel takes place months after the events of the first film. Rachel and her son Aidan move to a small town to get away from the bustle of Seattle and the tape they helped to spread across the state in order to escape the curse of Samara. Well, the tape has followed them and a teen ends up dead after failing to pass on the curse. Rachel finds the tape and destroys it in the hopes that it will stop Samara from continuing on. All it does is free Samara and gives her the ability to influence people, especially young Aidan who she attempts to possess.
Japanese director Hideo Nakata (who directed the original Japanese film and its lame ass sequel) shows no directorial flair outside the inventive CGI sequences. The pace is slooooooooooooooow to the point of my wishing that Samara would actually kill the main players so it would all end sooner. There are substantially less characters here, although there are plenty of has-been cameos (Gary Cole, Sissy Spacek and Elizabeth Perkins), but the ones we do get, even the recurring ones, are very flat and one-dimensional. And holy shit are there some big ass plot holes! And it doesn't help that the finale is a bore. Not that I wanted a CGI filled climax, but it's just so lackluster that it totally underwhelmed me.

I do give the creators of this film credit for trying to do something different with this film instead of just rehashing the first one all over again like most horror sequels. The tape is only a small part of the plot and thankfully disappears after the first 15 minutes. But the way that everything was executed is very sub-par and pedestrian. We've all seen the 'possessed child' routine done to death in other films, and here there's nothing that's creative thrown into the mix. It's all standard creepy kid stuff.
There are plenty of throwbacks to the original film, and a clever twist is that the writer (Ehren Kruger) threw some clues into the finale of The Ring that give us some insight into what's going on in The Ring Two. If you're a fan of the original you'll pick up on it instantly, as I did.

A piss-poor sequel that is not creative, scary or entertaining, The Ring Two is boring, emotionless and uninvolving. Let's just hope that the already announced The Ring Three will not follow in this film's footsteps.

2 out of 5

*written 3/19/05

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