Rachel, the young mother from Ring,
and her son start a new life away from their recent horrors.
However, it isn't long before she hears about the curious
death of a teenage student. When she sees his hideous contorted
features she learns that copies of Samara's cursed videotape
are more widespread than she thought. When her boy starts
to act differently towards her, and a string of eerie or supernatural
events take place around them, Rachel realises that he is
possessed by Samara. How can she cast out Samara when the
dead girl hears everything and their only privacy is in sleep...?
me start by clarifying the fact that this is the US version
of the first Ring sequel. Again, director Hideo Nakata
is back to 'Hollywoodise' his films for what amounts to a
very short-sighted American audience, who apparently in many
cases will not watch a film if it doesn't contain an American
actor and an English-speaking language. Nakata probably doesn't
care, he's making lots of money out of the projects.
whereas the US version of Ring followed its Japanese
predecessor, Ringu, virtually frame for frame, scene
by scene, this US sequel has quite a few plot differences
from the East Asian original. This is more about possession
than the continuation of Samara's (why couldn't they have
stayed with Sadako like in the Japanese films?) curse, her
attempts to find a way back from death through the boy. But
what makes him different to any other youngster? In other
words, why hasn't she (to our knowledge) attempted this before.
This is a weak and overused plot device, as is the loose back
story of the thwarted baby-drowning episode. The problem with
changing an established plot too much is that it often leaves
as many holes as a Swiss cheese.
example of this is the scenes with the deer, which is quite
fun to watch but ultimately makes no sense. When the boy is
at a fair (or whatever it is!) he notices some antlered deer
in the distance staring at him. When they are driving home
a lone buck purposely walks into the road. Although the boy
urges his mother to keep going, she skids to a stop. The buck
looks closely at him, before a dozen or so others emerge from
the trees and begin savagely attacking the car. The deer are
very professionally realised in CGI because apparently at
the time of making the film all the real deer were in the
process of shedding their antlers preparatory to growing new
ones. The purpose of the scene is to explain that animals
can see the dead, and see Samara in the boy. However, if this
is the case, why is it no dogs or cats (or any other animal)
was seen to react to him in any way.
a handful of extras on the disc, including trailers, deleted
scenes and some behind-the-scenes featurettes, but the best
on offer is Rings, a short fictional film showing a
group of students trying to research what happens to a cursed
individual during the seven days between watching the video
and their ultimate death. As the main, unwilling subject for
study is the student seen at the start of the main Ring
2 film, it's worth watching this 15 minute short before
the main feature. I personally enjoyed it more; there's bags
more tension and suspense than in the film (and it gains an
extra point for this review).
it might have been wiser to expand that concept and to forget
this unimaginative possession story. Better still, save your
money and instead buy the excellent remastered Japanese Ring
Trilogy released by Tartan Asia Extreme. It
even contains Sleeping Bride, another film by the same
director, which is worth the money alone.
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