Friday, October 22, 2010

2010 Geek Fright Fest: The Ring Two

The Ring Two (2005)
Rated PG-13 (for language and disturbing images)

Directed by Hideo Nakata

Naomi Watts
Sissy Spacek
Elizabeth Perkins
Simon Baker

Six months after the events in the first film take place, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) has moved her son Aidan to the small town of Astoria, Oregon to start a new life. Rachel has job editing the Daily Astorian, grateful to have a low-stress job that allows her to spend more time with her son. Things change suddenly when a homicide occurs and the details are eeirly similar to the previous deaths in Seattle. Rachel discovers that more copies of the cursed tape exist and that Samara's evil has followed them. When Aidan begins to act strangely, she discovers that he is under Samara's influence and she must find away to get rid of her for good.

Water is again a strong theme in the film, but the moody blue-gray-green palette is not as well-executed. The movie is sharper, with more saturated color and more sunlit shots than the first film, which creates an entirely different mood. Ironically, despite having the director of the first two original Japanese films, this flick feels much more like standard Hollywood fare when compared with the first one.

There's a few scary moments, but this film doesn't have the pervading sense of terror of the orginial. There's a few more "gotcha" scares and more reliance on special effects, but the bottom line is that it's just not as frightening as the first film.

Watts and the other actors are fairly blah in this film, but David Dorfman, who plays Aidan, is the film's saving grace. He pulls off an extra creepy performance, even amidst the lagging plot and lackluster acting.

Fright Rating: 2 gasps out of a possible five

There's very little violence in this film, but there are a few disturbing scenes. It doesn't live up to the original, but it's worth a watch on Netflix if you want to find out what happens.

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