The Ring Two (2005): ***½
Directed by Hideo Nakata
This movie is a lot better than I thought it would
be. Let me just say that right of the bat so that if you didn't
like this film you can either stop reading and grumble under your
breath about how I'm an idiot for liking it, or you can continue
reading knowing full well that you're going to disagree with what
I have to say.
There. That's outta the way.
Sequels are usually bad because they're just a
re-hash of the original movie, without any new ideas or creative
energy. When sequels are good it's usually because they take the
original movie and make it bigger and better (as in Aliens),
or because they make it seem like the original movie was just like
the introduction, kind of like the pilot episode of a TV series,
and that this sequel is the real story (Toy Story 2).
The Ring Two is good as a sequel for a
strange reason; it's almost as if the whole movie is an extended
third act of the first movie. At the end of the first film they
thwart the villain by saving their own lives, but they don't really
defeat the her. In this film the thwarted villain tries a more direct
approach to defeat the heroes.
some many questions brought up
by this film. Between the events of the two films Aidan apparently
shows his copy of the tape to someone else (seeing as how Aidan
isn't dead). To whom did he show it? When a copy of the tape makes
its way to Astoria, OR (where Rachel & Aidan have fled), is
it a coincidence? When Rachel sees Samarra for the first time Samara
says, "I found you." By this time the tape has apparently
been shown to many, many people. What makes Rachel and Aidan so
special? And how does Samara get the new power that she manifests
in this film?
You know, unanswered logistic questions in horror
movies bother me—usually. For some reason in this film they're
almost completely irrelevant, because this film is not, like the
first film, a logistical puzzle (even though it does have some mystery
elements). The Ring Two, even more than the first, is about
creating and maintaining a very specific mood: unrelenting tension.
The Ring Two is tense. When it was over both Carrie & I could
feel our backs and shoulders relax and give a sigh of relief. Director
Nakata's use of lighting, camera movement, music, and most especially
Naomi Watt's performance all combine into this very effective feeling
of overwhelming pressure. Why do some of the unexplained things
happen? Because it serves to increase the tension.
And it works.
That's the main reason why I liked this movie.