The Ring Two Review
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[The Ring Two]
Plot: Picking up where the first film left off,Rachel and her son Aidan have moved away to a small town in Oregon in an attempt to start over after the events that transpired in "The Ring". Samara however manages to find them, and has her eyes set on Rachels son Aidan.
My thoughts:I was expecting this film to blow away the original. While this sequel is slightly better because it delves deeper into Samaras background and origins, it isn't superior to it's predecessor as much as I expected it to be.
Review:"The Ring 2" gives us some new stuff but overall it sticks to what got it to the dance. The first film was a huge box office hit, due to it's creepy antagonist and it's eerie storyline. It's sequel pretty much goes by the book, and sticks to basics. It doesn't take too many chances with the story, even though the opportunity to do so reared it's head countless times during the film. Think about this, you're a writer of this film, and you have a cursed videotape on your hands along with a demon girl who kills anyone who watches it seven days later. You have alot of directions to go in storywise. and Plot devices such as these allow you to create a story which can show the really ugly underbelly of human nature when faced with the decision of putting someone elses life in danger to save your own skin. The films opening scene uses these 2 plot devices very well, and teases the audience with a new and interesting subplot. The problem is, thats all we get, is a tease. Not to say that the opening scene isn't pulled off very well, including a twist in the scene which I found quite comical. But this movie could've really used that subplot and built on it while staying true to the story of Rachel Keller and her son Aidan. The jist this time revolves more around Rachel and her son Aidan rather than the cursed videotape, the trail of bodies left in it's path, and Samara herself as the first "Ring" did. Rachel thought she was rid of our well dwelling friend, but Samara manages to find Rachel and her son who after Aidans dad was killed (guy at the end of 'The Ring) have now moved to a small town in Oregon to start over. This time, Samara has something much more sinister in mind than just offing whoever views her VHS tape. The plot point of Samara finding Rachel really needed a bit more explanation. Rachel whos now working for a small paper in her Oregon town sneaks inside the ambulance to get a shot of a murder victim. Mostly because she wants to make sure her fear that the cursed videotape has resurfaced is nothing to be concerned about. and That this is just a normal killing. However, upon viewing the deformed corpse, and then Samara materializing out of it and grabbing her arm before uttering *I've found you*, she realizes her nightmare isn't over yet. So apparently it seems that through her victims,Samara can reach anyone whos escaped her by making copies of the tape. "The Ring Two" is also extremely light in the scares department compared to the first film. The first film did an excellent job of catching the audience off guard and out of nowhere with many shock scenes. The sequel however gives us 2 of these scenes but they're too telegraphed and obvious to be effective. The evil Samaras goal this time is to possess Rachels son Aidan and live for real,outside her netherworldly plane. Her motivation for this is she wants the mother she never had so to speak. As Samaras possession of Aidan grows stronger, he exhibits much more strange behavior and takes on Samars personality traits such as a fear of water. Watching Aidan become more and more like Samara is what keeps the movie going, thanks to it's total abandonment of the cursed video tape subplot. It really has nothing else to cling to besides a small budding love subplot between Rachel and a co-worker of hers named Max. It makes Aidans chillingly sinister transformation the focal point of the story. Theres alot of mother/son "7th Heavenish" moments between Rachel and her son in the film as Samaras hold over him grows and Rachel feels she is losing her son. However Watts and Dorfmans acting, the use of the perfect music in almost every scene, and some nice effects was enough to keep me intrigued during most of these scenes which in any other movie I probably would've walked out to hit up the concession stand for some more popcorn and soda. Another thing thats nicely done is that as Samaras hold over Aidan gets stronger, the scenes intensify in creep and chill factor.Sissy Spacek makes an awesome cameo in the film as the institutionalized birth mother of Samara who Rachel visits after learning of Samaras intentions. It was pretty obvious her character Evelyn was only inserted into the film to give the audience some deeper backstory on Samaras origins and gives us a more sinister view of Samara herself, both of which she succeeded at doing in my opinion. Rachel eventually devises a way to try and defeat Samara using the information shes gathered from Evelyn, but the film tosses alot of twists at us near the end and one pretty ridiculous twist at the very end which kind of makes the entire movie pointless. In the midst of all of this though, the films climax is pretty entertaining. "The Ring 2" is more story and performance driven than the original. Looking past the fact that the movie bends some of the rules pertaining to the tape and Samara just to give the audience a glimpse inside Samaras world and set up Naomi Watts for an odd out of character one liner, "The Ring 2" succeeds in being a pretty good follow up to it's predecessor but doesn't totally dominate it in any aspect.
Pros:Nice sceneries and imaging,great special effects, great opening scene,nice performances by Dorfman and Watts.
Cons:Lags in a few areas,if you're not into performance driven horror,you're gonna get bored with this movie really quickly since it prides itself more on being performance driven than anything. Unlike the original which used a good balance of shock scenes to mix with the actors driving the story. Not enough screentime for Sissy Spaceks character Evelyn. I got the impression some of her dialogue was cut out for pacing or running time reasons. A bit too many tug-at-your-heartstrings scenes between Watts and Dorfman. I also think what we saw go down in the opening scene between the guy and the girl should've been expounded upon more as a potential subplot as opposed to Max and Rachels possible love interest subplot.
Overall: A sequel which sticks to basics and for the most part succeeds in being conservative with it's story and characters.
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