So when the original Ringu came out, Rasen came out at the same time. However, while Ringu was a massive success, Rasen was considered a flop so a new sequel was planned. However, instead of basing it off the novels like Rasen was, they decided to base it off the first movie. This idea worked as this would become one of the biggest box office hits of 1999. So lets see just how good of a movie it is as I watch today’s movie, Ringu 2.
The plot: After the events of Ringu, Takaishi Yamamura is brought to the police morgue to identify Sadako’s body, though he say he will not be able to as he hasn’t seen her in 30 years. As he gets upset over the situation, the detective informs him that though the well was sealed up after the place was sold, Sadako only died 1-2 years ago. Meanwhile, the police are searching for Reiko Asakawa after the strange deaths of her ex-husband Ryuji Takayama and her father. As her friend Okazaki, another reporter, reviews some of the footage Reiko shot about the “cursed tape” with their producer, they are approached by Mai Takano, Ryuji’s assistant at the university, who is looking for Reiko. Okazaki and Mai go to Reiko’s apartment and find the remains of a burnt video tape in the bathtub and Mai has a vision of asking for her father to forgive her but she had to save Yoichi’s life. Thinking of Yoichi, Okazaki goes looking for a picture of him so they can check his school but stops when he sees a family photo and all of the faces are blurred out. Meanwhile, Detective Omuta arrives at the house of Reiko’s father and notices the two VCRs hooked up in order to copy a tape, as well as a note from Reiko. As Mai waits outside Yoichi’s school, she sees an image of Yoichi trying to talk to her but he soon vanishes as Okazaki returns and says that Yoichi hasn’t been there in over a week. That night, Omuta goes to see Mai and asks her about Ryuji’s death but as he discusses everything with her, Mai gets upset and asks him to leave. The next day, Mai is riding the train and sees Reiko and Toichi heading towards Ryuji’s apartment but is unable to get off the train in time. Okazaki is interviewing a high school student, Kanae Sawaguchi, about the cursed tape and asks if she can get him a copy but before she responds, he sees Mai outside the window and leaves to speak with her, telling his cameraman to get the tape. Okazaki tells Mai about 4 kids who died at the same time after watching the tape, mentioning that one of them, Tomoko, was Reiko’s niece. He then says that another girl, Masami Kurahashi, was with Tomoko when she died and has been mute and institutionalized at the university’s hospital ever since. They head to the hospital and speak with Masami’s doctor, Ishi Kawajiri, and he shows them the photos they took of Masami when she was admitted and they see a strange mist floating next to her, covering her right eye. Kawajiri explains that it is an example of spirit photography and as he continues explaining it to Okazaki, Mai leaves the office and heads towards the common area. She sees a nurse walking Masami towards the room, using a screen to shield her from the TV but when the nurse stops, Masami enters the room and stares at the TV. Suddenly, the picture changes and shows Sadako climbing out of the well, which frightens all of the other patients and causes them to cry out and collapse to the floor in fear. As the doctors rush to check on them, Mai checks on Masami but when she touches her, she sees what Masami witnessed when Tomoko died. The next day, Mai is able to track down Yoichi and Reiko and questions them about the tape and Ryuji’s death and Reiko explains that Yoichi has been mute ever since his father died. When Mai admits that Yoichi has been telepathically contacting her, Reiko says that his psychic abilities have intensified since Ryuji’s death and wants to see if Kawajiri might be able to help her. Meanwhile, Kanae shows up at Okazaki’s work and hands him a copy of the tape and says that she watched it and asks that he watch it but after she leaves, Okazaki puts the tape in his desk. Mai, Okazaki, and Omuta head to the hospital, where Kawajiri is attempting to purge the psychic energy that has been building up in Masami’s mind by projecting it onto a blank tape. However, the tape starts to show the recording of the cursed tape and the well and when Masami ends up dying, Mai smashes the monitor and destroys the video tape before fainting. Okazaki returns to the office, where he is told that Kanae has been trying to call him, and he gives her a call and lies to her about watching the tape before hanging up, then locks the tape back in his desk. When Mai comes too, Omuta and Kawajiri show her an article about the failed experiment involving Sadako’s mother and Omuta demands that she tell him where Reiko and Yoichi are hiding. When he gets word of Kanae dying, Omuta takes Mai with him to see the body and she reluctantly tells them where to find them. As the two are taken to the police station, Mai learns that they will be separated and telepathically warns Yoichi to run. Yoichi runs to Reiko, then uses his powers to stop Omuta and another officer from following them but when they get outside, Reiko ends up getting struck by a truck. As Mai goes to comfort Yoichi, Yoichi starts to use his powers to attack Omuta but Mai gets him to stop. Meanwhile, Okazaki is trying to erase his interview of Kanae but it won’t erase and as he watches, the footage changes and Kanae’s spirit appears and stares accusingly at him. Mai and Yoichi travel to Oshima island while Takaishi, who is also heading back to the island with Sadako’s coffin, asks Sadako why he kept him alive when he is the one to turn her and her mother into freaks and proceeds to give her a burial at sea. On the island, Mai and Yoichi stay at the Yamamura Inn and after putting Yoichi in bed, Mai steps outside and sees Takaichi sitting at the nearby water’s edge. He tells her that he put Sadako back in the sea and takes her to a small family shrine in a nearby cove. Meanwhile, Kawajiri appears at the inn and asks for Mai but when he is told that she is not there, he asks for his own room when he notices the lights starting to flicker. Mai rushes in and heads upstairs and Kawajiri follows but they stop when they see the ghosts of a young Sadako and her mother, Shizuro, appear. Mai is able to ward off the ghosts, then goes to check on Yoichi, who had been having a nightmare, which summoned the ghosts. Kawajiri believes it that Yoichi somehow absorbed Sadako’s anger when he watched the tape and he is unable to control it, which coupled with his psychic abilities,is causing the ghosts to appear. He decides to do an experiment to exorcise Yoichi’s psychis powers and drain the energy into a pool, where the water will neutralize the energy. Kawajiri hooks Yoichi up to his equipment and has Mai act as a conduit to expel Sadako’s anger but as the experiment proceeds, Mai, Kawajiri, and Takaishi begin seeing into the spirit world. Takaishi sees Sakado’s coffin and, asking Sadako to take him, walks into the pool and drowns while Kawajiri jumps into the pool holding a bunch of electrical equipment, killing himself. Mai grabs Yoichi and they both fall into the water but when they come too, they find themselves inside the well. As they struggle to climb out, Yoichi falls into the water and Mai jumps in after him but can’t find him. Suddenly, the opening is uncovered and a rope drops down, then Ryuji appears holding Yoichi. Ryuji tells Yoichi to give him his fear, then tells Mai to take Yoichi and use the rope to escape the well and not look down. Mai begins climbing the rope but looks down and sees Sadako’s spirit appear and start climbing the side of the well after them. Mai screams for help just as Sadako grabs the rope next to her and asks “Why were you the only one saved”, then falls back down into the water. Mai continues climbing and as the reach the surface of the well, they find themselves emerging in the pool. Climbing out of the water, the asks each other if they are ok and they admit they are both not really afraid anymore. Meanwhile, Okazaki has been institutionalized and when the nurse takes his picture, she notices something in it that shocks her as it is shown that Kanae’s spirit is behind Okazaki, tormenting him for letting her die.
This was a pretty good movie. The acting was good, with Miki Nakatani (Mai) doing a great job as the lead. The story was good, picking up where the first movie ended, and doing a good job of continuing the story. I honestly liked how they took the pure supernatural nature of the story and added the psychic aspect to it, as it made for a nice twist to the story and mixed well with the supernatural story. The special effects and camera work were very well done, making for a very suspenseful viewing experience that did it’s job in sucking you in. I’m sure it is a worthy sequel but on it’s own merits, this is still a good movie that is worth watching.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5