The Ring Two Hideo Nakata

The Ring Two Hideo Nakata
When Gore Verbinski's remake of The Ring hit cinemas in late 2002, it brought a naturally creepy and dead scary concept to audiences: a videotape that will kill you in seven days. Now two-and-half years later, Verbinski's out of the picture, but the success of the film has generated a much-anticipated sequel. It's nothing unique, as Ringu 2 followed its predecessor one year later, and the man responsible for those two films has been brought in for the Hollywood sequel.

In The Ring Two, journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) has upped and moved from that damned Seattle to a small town in Oregon with her son Aidan (the creepy David Dorfman). When she hears of a familiarly horrific incident, she investigates and finds that the cursed videotape she tried to forget has made its way into her new locale. Rachel then goes too far in her quest to rid her life of this curse and discovers that the only thing worse than watching the demonic video is destroying it, which she does, thus unleashing the evil spirit of young Samara onto her son.

With Nakata directing and Ehren Kruger (Scream 3) writing the script, Two is a slick follow-up that unsuccessfully tries to keep with the original sequel, but somehow flops in its bid to focus on the less interesting aspects of the first film (i.e., the mother/son relationship). What thrilled and freaked out the viewer in the first film was the evil video curse, something that makes a brief cameo in the beginning, but in a blatantly desperate bid to start things off with a bang (and an incident that is much clearer after viewing the recent second disc of The Ring Collector's Edition DVD).

Known for building a creepy milieu in his Japanese films, Nakata uses outrageously unnecessary special effects as if he was given too much money and didn't know what to do with the leftover coin. Most unsettling though is portraying Samara as the hunter, crossing states to find the Kellers (kind of like Jaws travelling from Maine to the Bahamas in Jaws: The Revenge) and Sissy Spacek's worthless five minutes as Samara's birth mother.

As disappointing as The Ring Two is, what's even worse is that they didn't answer the biggest head-scratching question on everyone's mind: why hasn't the little demon seed Samara upgraded her little indie flick to DVD? What is this, the '90s? (DreamWorks/Universal)