A sequel to a remake. For some reason I feel like there should be a law against that sort of thing. So as successful as The Ring was, and with the other Japanese horror movie remakes starting to flood the theaters, it seemed obvious that a sequel would occur. Now even though I enjoyed the first movie, I didn’t feel like going to see this one in theaters. I also never rented it, though that was more from a mixture of indifference and desire to watch other things and not a refusal to watch this movie. So let’s see if this last Blockbuster purchase was worth it as I watch today’s movie, The Ring Two.
The plot: In Astoria, Oregon, high school seniors Jake and Emily are at a playground and Emily is chastising Jake for waiting so long to ask her out. Jake invites Emily back to his house and as he comments about late it is, he tells Emily that he has a movie for her to watch, then heads into the kitchen to get them some drinks while she goes to put the tape in the VCR. As it gets closer to 11, Jake yells at Emily to play the tape but he hears the sound of the movie and closes the door. When the phone rings, Jake thinks it might be Samara but it is his friend who had shown Jake the tape in the first place. As Jake is talking on the phone, he notices black water flowing underneath the kitchen door and quickly heads into the other room only to find that Emily had played the video but covered her eyes so she couldn’t watch it. As Jake turns to the TV, the video cuts to the well as Samara climbs out of the well and through the TV before she kills Jake. Elsewhere, Rachel and Aidan are living in Astoria, having moved from Seattle after sending the Aidan’s copy of the tape out to be watched. While working for The Daily Astorian, Rachel hears about Jake’s death and heads to his house to see if he died from Samara’s curse. When she gets to the house, she sees the body being loaded into the ambulance while Emily is taken away in a squad car. Sneaking inside the ambulance, Rachel unzips the body bag in order to see Jake’s face and is horrified to see that it looks just like Noah’s did when he died. As she goes to zip up the bag, Samara suddenly appears inside the bag grabs her arm, saying “I found you”, before Rachel is able to free herself. Rachel heads to the police station to try and talk to Emily and manages to ask her if she saw the tape and knows anyone else who has but Emily shakes her head no. Sneaking into Jake’s house, Rachel finds the tape and takes it out to a deserted area and burns it. Aidan has a nightmare about seeing the TV showing the well and Samara trying to drag him into the TV but when Rachel asks him to tell her about the nightmare, he says he doesn’t remember. The next day, they head to an open air market and Rachel runs into her boss, Max Rourke, who tries to find out more about why Rachel moved to Astoria. Meanwhile, Aidan heads into the restroom but finds that all of the water seems to have stopped working. As he stares into the mirror, he sees Samara approaching him and he starts taking pictures of his reflection. Rachel finds Aidan and notices how cold he is and they leave the fair and head home but along the way, Rachel has to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting a deer. Aidan tells her not to stop and to keep driving but as Rachel waits for the deer to cross the road, it suddenly returns and starts attacking the car. When a second deer attacks from the other side, Rachel manages to start driving away only to have another deer charge the car and crash into the front of it, causing the car to spin out of control. When the car stops, Rachel and Aidan find themselves surrounded by deer but they make no further moves to attack and Rachel is slowly able to drive away from them. At the house, strange things begin occurring and when Rachel goes to check on Aidan, she sees Samara at first but when she looks again, sees it is Aidan but there is something on the wall behind him that starts growing so they quickly leave. Rachel takes Aidan to her work and when Max talks to her, she asks if they can stay at his place. When they get to Max’s house, Rachel tries to warm up Aidan by giving him a warm bath but Aidan seems scared of the water and Rachel has to force him into the tub. Asking Max to watch Aidan, Rachel returns to the house and grabs Aidan’s camera, where she sees the pictures Aidan took in the bathroom and realizes that Samara might have possessed Aidan. At Max’s house, Max is on the phone when the door to the bathroom suddenly closes and locks on it’s own and when he tries calling out to Aidan, he sees water pouring out from underneath the door. He goes to get something to open the door as Rachel returns and as she bangs on the door, it opens suddenly and she sees all of the water from the door is being driven out of the tub and floating in the air. As she approaches Aidan, she sees Samara holding him just as all of the water falls back into the tub and floor. When Rachel goes to pull Aidan out of the water, Samara appears and Rachel forces her back into the water but when Max enters the room, he sees Rachel trying to drown Aidan and stops her. They take Aidan to the hospital and the doctors work on stabilizing Aidan but he ends up unconscious and won’t wake up. Rachel tells Max about Samara but he doesn’t believe her and she asks that he take Aidan’s picture to prove that Samara possessed him. As Rachel looks over Aidan, she is approached by Dr. Emma Temple, a psychiatrist for Child Services who tells Rachel she needs to stay away from Aidan from the time being, as she questions Rachel about her having postpartum depression when Aidan was born and thinks that Rachel tried to deliberately harm Aidan. When Rachel leaves the room that Emma locked her in, Emma tells the nurse caring for Aidan that Rachel is not to be allowed inside the room. Rachel heads back to Moesko Island to try and find out more information about Samara and when she arrives at the Morgan’s ranch, she tricks the real estate agent into letting her look in the basement. She eventually finds an old photo album with newspaper clippings and learns that Samara’s birth mother, Evelyn, tried to drown her as an infant. Back at the hospital, Aidan wakes up but Samara is in control of his body and she has Emma kill herself after Emma had been questioning Aidan. Meanwhile, Rachel heads to the orphanage where Samara was adopted from and learns about Evelyn being institutionalized and heads there to speak with Evelyn. When Rachel tries talking to Evelyn, she starts yelling at Rachel, saying she let the dead get in and when Rachel asks her what she can do, Evelyn says to be a good mother. Aidan makes his way back home and Max shows up to check on him. When Max tries to take Aidan’s picture, Aidan tells him no and says he will explain why if he doesn’t take his picture so Max sets the camera down, but has it set on a timer, which Aidan notices. When Rachel gets home, Aidan surprises her and starts acting out of character, actually calling her “Mommy” instead of “Rachel” like he normally does. When she asks about Max, Aidan says he left but Rachel heads out to the car and finds Max’s body inside his truck. Heading back inside the house, Rachel is unsure what to do next and ends up falling asleep. She has a dream that Aidan is in bed next to her and he tells her she has to exorcise Samara in order to stop her. Waking up, Rachel heads downstairs to find Aidan awake and watching TV so she fixes him a snack but puts some sleeping pills inside the sandwich. When Aidan falls asleep, Rachel places him in the bathtub to temporarily drown him, forcing Samara out of Aidan’s body. Rachel then checks on Aidan and he manages to come around when they suddenly see the TV turn on showing the well. Rachel realizes that Samara is going to keep coming until she finds the mother she is looking for so she has Samara take her in order to spare Aidan. Samara grabs Rachel and drags her through the TV, where she ends up inside the well. As she is treading water, she looks up and notices that the well is open and realizes it is always open and allows Samara a way out. Rachel begins climbing the well but Samara emerges and tries to stop her. Rachel manages to dislodge some rocks, which sends some water pouring down and knocks Samara back down into the water below, allowing Rachel to make it out of the well and push the lid back on it. Rachel hears Aidan calling out to her and she follows the sound to the cliff where Anna Morgan had committed suicide. Rachel jumps off the cliff herself and ends up back in the real world, with a worried Aidan looking down at her. Rachel tells him that Samara is gone and won’t be coming back and as they hug, she asks him to call her Rachel, for the time being.
The Ring Two was panned by the critics, holding a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Ring Two serves up horror cliches, and not even Hideo Nakata, the director of the movies from which this one is based, can save the movie from a dull screenplay full of absurdities.” Even though director Hideo Nakata directed the original movie and it’s second sequel (Ringu and Ringu 2), this is not a remake of Ringu 2, but a sequel to The Ring (2002) and follows it’s own story line. The movie had a bigger opening weekend but failed to match the success of it’s predecessor, earning $161.5 million off of a $50 million budget.
This wasn’t bad but it definitely paled in comparison to the first movie. Naomi Watts and David Dorfman doing a good job of reprising their roles of Rachel and Aidan. Simon Baker (Max) and Elizabeth Perkins (Emma) were a little bland but Sissy Spacek was a nice surprise in her role as Evelyn. The story was interesting but didn’t really do a good job of explaining how things developed into the present movie. You are basically left to assume that Rachel got someone to watch Aidan’s copy, then either they told the person how to avoid dying, or that person randomly figured it out and they made someone else watch a copy, but that leaves an awful lot up for assumption. The special effects were definitely good, with the scene in the bathroom where the water is floating up to the ceiling being an incredible bit of special effects. A decent horror movie but there was potential for it to be a lot better.
Rating: 3 out of 5