Miki Nakatani, Hitomi Sato, Ky˘ko Fukada
Not to be confused with Rasen, Ringu
2 is yet another direct sequel to the original Ringu.
Because Rasen bombed so badly, director Hideo Nakata
was brought in to make another sequel in hopes that the first
attempt would be forgotten. As with Rasen, Ryuji is
dead and his girlfriend Mai is trying to research as to why
he died. But, unlike Rasen, she doesn't becomes attached
to any medical examiner. Mai tries to piece together what
happened in the previous film through clues left by those
who died and those who are still alive.
Her research leads her to find herself developing some psychic
ability (which of course leads to some cool sequences). It
also seems that Reiko Asakawa's son, Yoichi, is likewise developing
these abilities. This, of course, forces them to find a solution
to their dilemma before they become victim's to Sadako's curse.
When The Ring Two was in development, there had been
rumors that the story was going to follow the survivors of
the curse, including the best friend of the girl that died
at the beginning of the movie. After watching Ringu 2,
I have to think that the Ring sequel
was intended to follow the same lines as this film. In Ringu
2, you get an insight to those who witness the curse from
a bystander's point of view. In of the strongest sequences
is the small portion that shows the first killing from the
opening of Ringu from where the girl hid in the closet.
Sadako climbs out of the television with a ghostlike quality.
The voyeuristic element of this scene sends shivers up and
down the viewer's spine.
Ringu 2 presents a strong dramatic flair as it builds
both characters and relationships. While I thought the character
relationships from the first film were a little convenient
and contrived, the characters here really have a strong resonance.
The deep dramatic quality of the characters is offset by some
dark sequences that really do a wonderful job of unnerving
the viewer. One of the best scenes is in the psyche ward where
the television turns from daytime viewing to a scene of the
haunted well where Sadako's hairs slowly flows out. This drives
the patients into a frenzy, heightening the underlying build
of tension in the scene.
Though I liked the direction that Ringu 2 took in
comparison to Rasen and the American sequel, it still
suffers from the obvious quick turnaround (it was the third
film released in a year for the series). While there are some cool scenes throughout, the endgame is where all the great stuff happens. So, the viewer must sit through some tedious portions and there are bits of the plot/script that I'm sure could have been cut or just changed for the better.
If the previously mentioned rumors about The
Ring Two's original plot line are to be believed, then
I would have to suggest that the American moviegoer got screwed,
badly. Instead of a character driven psychological thriller/horror
flick that digs deeper into what made the first film so intriguing,
we got a a dumbed down shocker fest. So, if you want to see
what the sequel of The Ring should have been like,
check out Ringu 2.