The Ring Two

"Excellent"

The Ring Two Review


It's a rule: Horror films always come with sequels. Why the official screenwriter's handbook deems it a necessity is beyond me. Usually, it doesn't really matter -- I mean, who cares if there are 10 sequentially horrible films in the Leprechaun series? We only find it offensive when greedy filmmakers take horror movie royalty like Psycho or The Exorcist and decide to mess with their original formula. The Ring Two, I feared, would become another such victim.

And it almost was before the filmmaking even began. Naomi Watts was reportedly not pleased with the original draft of the sequel script, and the director vacated the project just weeks before principal photography was set to begin. R-Two seemed destined to drown. But with a healthy revision from screenwriter Ehren Kruger, the script was fixed to Watts' satisfaction, and a ringer was brought in to direct. Now with the director of the original Japanese masterpiece Ringu and its disastrous sequel Ringu 2 at the helm, could R-Two be a worthy sequel to one of the best American horror movies ever made?

R-Two picks up six months after The Ring's discovery of a mysterious videotape about a girl named Samara who brings unexplained deaths to the Seattle area. Watts reprises her role as Rachel Keller (Watts), the newspaper reporter who investigated the story and was subsequently tormented by it, who has moved with her son Aidan (David Dorfman) to the quiet oceanside town of Astoria, Oregon. Rachel takes a job with the small, local newspaper and feels the change will help them move on with their lives. At first, everything feels right; Rachel's new job is going well and Aidan has taken an interest in photography.

But the peace and tranquility is broken when Rachel uncovers an unusual teen homicide that has all of the familiar markings of the deadly videotape. Aidan begins having horrific nightmares and soon he becomes gravely ill. Suddenly, no matter where Rachel and Aidan go, Samara follows to wreak havoc. She appears on walls, in mirrors, and on Aidan's film. She even manifests herself as a deer in one of the film's most surreal moments. Looking for answers about Samara's return and Aidan's illness, Rachel embarks on another expedition (just as she did in the first film) for the clues that will unravel the final pieces of the mystery.

As sequels go, R-Two is much more accomplished than most. While it's not without shortcomings, it surprisingly succeeds at logically advancing the story and providing numerous, satisfying chills along the way. This time, we're given a greater insight into Samara's life; now understand why she acts the way she does and what she is looking for. In this Ring, the investigation is easier to follow and we're able to take a more active role in it.

One of the things that made The Ring so thrilling was its ability to maintain a high degree of suspense while never degrading itself with the familiar trappings of the horror genre. While Nakata's film is much brighter than the grayed-out, solemn look of the original, R-Two remarkably retains much of the same feel and tension of the first. R-Two dazzles us with visual effects that are both fascinating and shocking at the same time; our interest never waivers from the edge of our seats.

Unfortunately, R-Two's biggest failing is the ending. A seemingly natural resolution is bypassed for an extra 10-minute segment that is completely out of place with the smart, steadfast vision of the rest of the film. While this alternative ending does provide a sense of closure to the series and one final jolt, the symbolism it creates is comically constructed.

Watts certainly garners our attention, but her performance as a whole never really exceeds our expectations. And in a key role, Sissy Spacek returns to the horror genre 30 years after Carrie. But it's the young Dorfman who steals the show by displaying a talent that's beyond his years. His emotional control and expressions give Aidan a truly creepy persona.

Ultimately, R-Two proves its worth.

The DVD includes a mountain of extras, including a pile of deleted scenes, the Rings short film, tons of featurettes and making-of shorts, and more.

Aka The Ring 2.

Waiter, there's a woman in my gumbo.



The Ring Two

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th March 2005

Box Office USA: $75.9M

Distributed by: Dreamworks Distribution LLC

Production compaines: DreamWorks SKG, BenderSpink, MacDonald/Parkes Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 147

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Walter F. Parkes,

Starring: as Rachel Keller, as Max Rourke, as Dr. Emma Temple, as Aidan Keller, as Martin Savide, as Evelyn, as Jake, as Emily, as Betsy, as Doctor, as Samara (archive footage), Kelly Stables as Evil Samara, Cooper Thornton as Father of Emily, Marilyn McIntyre as Mother of Emily, Jesse Burch as Male Reporter, as Young Evelyn

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.