She’s back, and this time she’s looking for a new mommy.” Would you watch “The Ring Two” if this was the tagline? This is the whole premise of the movie. Gone is the media satire of the first movie, and in its place is a sappy story of maternal love.
The film begins exactly like the first one, with the death of an anonymous teenager after watching the infamous tape. The word has gone out that by making a copy of it and having someone else watch it, you will not die. Unfortunately, this typical teen failed to do so, and paid the price.
This occurs in the small seaside town of Astoria, where the Keller’s have just moved from Seattle. When Rachel (Naomi Watts) hears the news, she manages to get the tape and destroy it, thereby releasing Samara (played quite convincingly by Daveigh Chase) into the world. Rachel and Aidan (the very mature David Dorrfman) spend the rest of the movie avoiding the poor, motherless and evil, Samara.
Although “The Ring Two” had its fair share of scary and creepy moments (there is a particularly disturbing scene involving a pack of rabid reindeer) the suspense is prolonged to the point of frustration. Audience members had their hands over their eyes way long before anything happened, leading me to think, “Get on with it!”
In the first movie, water is used subtly to point out that someone was about to die. Now, the water effects, although impressive, are way over the top, and almost annoying.
Although the central characters of the film are obvious, the strong supporting cast is severely underused. Simon Baker, plays the part of the always necessary male, Elizabeth Perkins plays an overpowering psychiatrist, the always funny Gary Cole plays a sleaze-bag real estate agent, and Sissy Spacek (yes Carrie, in the flesh) plays a psycho mom. But they all get too little screen time, considering their Hollywood clout. Then again, maybe they were cameo appearances rather than supporting roles, but in a horror flick?
“The Ring Two” marks Japanese director, Hideo Nakata’s American debut. Nakata is responsible for the “Ringu” movies that the American versions are based on. Subtle cinematic drama and a sinister atmosphere are gone. Instead, we get way over the top typical sequel plot lines and predictability.