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"The Ring 2" Movie Review

Bo'ring' Sequel Leaves Much To Be Desired


Naomi Watts The Ring 2

Naomi Watts and Kelly Stables in "The Ring Two"

© DreamWorks Pictures
After sitting through the first half of “The Ring Two,” I was this close to being convinced it was a spoof of the first American “The Ring” movie and its Japanese predecessors. But the filmmakers aren't in on the joke. They want us to take the movie seriously, even with an incomprehensible plot and laughable dialogue.

The ‘watch a creepy video tape and die in seven days’ concept is quickly erased in “The Ring Two” as the focus turns to possession and bad mothering to move the story along. Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) find a small town to start over in, but that creepy dead girl from the well won’t let them be. Just as Rachel’s settling into her new life and new job with the town’s newspaper, a teenage boy is found dead and his date’s left speechless from watching him die. You guessed it. She’s back… Samara and her evil tape have followed Rachel and Aidan to their new home.

“The Ring Two” foregoes the ominous phone calls warning of impending death. Instead, Samara’s aim in this film is to possess little Aidan and claim Rachel as her mom. This new angle leads to less suspense – and less pure frightening moments – than in the first movie. We know the villain’s goal from the get-go and we know, after the first few scenes, that Rachel hasn’t learned a thing from her first go-round with Samara and her relatives. After what seems like days but in fact is only 110 minutes of making some of the dumbest moves in horror history, “The Ring Two” winds down to a tepid, unsatisfying, not worth the wait, conclusion.

Silliness abounds in “The Ring Two,” with the parts that actually do connect coming together too conveniently. Rachel wants to talk to a young girl about her experience with the video tape, gets told no, and suddenly the girl is plopped down and left alone within three feet of where Rachel’s standing. The rules change, people behave in the most ridiculous manner, and so much of the plot is just left dangling you’d think this thing was shot without a script. And the deer… I’m still shaking my head over the attack of the killer CGI/animatronic Bambis. Horses played a large role in the first film, this one has deer. The connection eludes me. Samara was raised on a horse ranch. Did she also spend some time at an evil petting zoo? Why deer? And while we’re questioning the story, why don’t Rachel’s newspaper co-workers ever leave work? Why does the movie change arbitrarily from day to night? So many questions, so few reasonable answers.

“The Ring Two” followed the let’s throw in everything but the kitchen sink and something’s bound to work line of reasoning. Unfortunately, all this method of filmmaking managed to do was leave me with a headache and dealing with a great deal of anger over having missed an episode of “American Idol” to sit through this waste of time mess that should have gone straight to video. Or better yet, that shouldn’t have been made in the first place.

Please tell me it was only because of Naomi Watts’ original contract that she was forced to do "The Ring Two." Otherwise there’s no earthly reason why Watts should have showed up for this convoluted sequel, which appears to have been slapped together solely to cash in on “The Ring’s” box office and DVD popularity.

David Dorfman, the young actor who played Naomi Watts’ son in the first film, returns in the second. Dorfman’s not really an obnoxious child actor so much as just annoying to watch in this sequel. But it’s not all his fault. There’s only so much an actor of any age could have done with the stilted dialogue and plot contrivances Dorfman faces in “The Ring Two.” I failed to find one single line of dialogue between mother and son that had any kind of connection to reality.

Meanwhile “The Guardian” hottie Simon Baker is wasted as one of Watts’ newspaper co-workers. Baker’s character pulls a little babysitting duty and that’s about the extent of his participation in the film. Sissy Spacek is involved in what’s supposed to be the movie’s pivotal scene. By the time the scene comes around, I totally understood why Spacek wanted to hide behind a stringy black wig and layers of pancake makeup. And you’ve just got to feel sorry for poor Gary Cole. He apparently stumbled in from the set of a different film and was plugged into “The Ring Two” still in his goofy real estate salesman get-up.

As a tool for raising the tension level, I don’t find water all that scary. And I definitely didn’t find water cascading from a bathroom ceiling or seeping out from under a bathroom door particularly terrifying. Granted, there are a few good effects and I even flinched once during “The Ring Two.” But for the most part, this sequel, as with most sequels, doesn't live up to the original film.

Don't let "The Ring 2" sucker you into parting ways with your money. Two or three minor thrills aren't worth the ticket price.


"The Ring 2" is rated PG-13 for violence/terror, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language.

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