The Ring Two – USA, 2005

‘Fear comes full circle’

The Ring Two is a 2005 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Hideo Nakata (director of the original 1998 Japanese film Ringu and Ringu 2 – although this is not a remake of the latter; Dark Water) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (Blood and Chocolate; The Skeleton Key; Scream 3). The movie stars Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, David Dorfman and Elizabeth Perkins.

It is a sequel to Gore Verbinski’s 2002 film The Ring, which was a remake of Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Ringu.

Plot:

Hoping to leave their terrifying experiences in Seattle behind them, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son, Aidan (David Dorfman), move to the small town of Astoria, in Oregon, where Rachel takes a job writing for the local newspaper.

When Rachel learns of an unexplained murder, which occurred after a teenager watched a strange videotape with his girlfriend, she suspects her past is following her and she begins looking into the case.

Rachel believes that the otherworldly Samara has come back; however, as she tries to convince others of the young girl’s powers, her own son falls ill and is hospitalised, and Rachel’s stories fail to convince either Dr. Emma Temple (Elizabeth Perkins), who suspects Rachel is guilty of child abuse, or Max Rourke (Simon Baker), one of Rachel’s colleagues who fears for Aidan’s safety…

Reviews:

“You can tell things are really going down the drain, literally, when Sissy Spacek shows up in a pivotal role and fails to register. It’s only at film’s end that you realize the whole soggy, overlong mess isn’t going to go anywhere. Like poor Samara, it’s dead in the water.” Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

” …The Ring Two relies instead on a plot that could have come from a 1970s Italian Exorcist rip-off. It’s passably gripping and occasionally lively, particularly in a mood-lightening guest turn from Gary Cole as a real-estate agent trying to hide the grim past of one of the last film’s locations.” Keith Phipps, AV Film

“Here, there isn’t much of a sense of urgency and the only thrills you get are baths and killer deer.  It is almost laughable at points and has that frustrating “so what” when they survive because they’re never going to be able to explain all the dead bodies that surround them.” JP Roscoe, Basement Rejects

“Nakata doesn’t resort to beating his audience over the head with creepy music too, though weird sound is always a help. Instead, he simply keeps building nail-biting moments until everyone’s on the edge of their seat, then gives a shove off the cushion. Mood and imagery combine to create a real sense of peril and distress…” Cinema Blend

” …we get a lot more visual horror with a lot of special effects to impress that audience whilst we also have the creepy girl showing up in scenes. But the thing is that when the wow factor of special effects is no longer special there isn’t a great deal more to captivate.” Andy Webb, The Movie Scene

” …a half-hearted sequel at best. Credit is due to Nakata for remaining true to the dreary, desolate vibe required of this franchise, but without a compelling story, all the life is drained out of it. This is a film that just doesn’t click despite its weirdly lurid material…” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

The Ring Two essentially feels like a superfluous facsimile; with no innovative plot developments or even scares (all the supposed “frightening” moments in the film are riffs on things from the original), there’s virtually no reason for the movie to even exist.” David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

“The charm of The Ring Two, while limited, is real enough; it is based on the film’s ability to make absolutely no sense, while nevertheless generating a real enough feeling of tension a good deal of the time. It is like an exercise in cinema mechanics…” Roger Ebert

“Though the makers of The Ring Two do not intend it, there’s something to be said for Samara’s position. Aidan just tolerates Rachel, while Samara actively wants Rachel for a mother. But no. As far as the filmmakers are concerned, Samara is all bad, and so what ensue are lots of tepid scenes, intended to be ghastly, in which Samara tries to worm her spirit into Aidan, usually while he’s taking a bath.” Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Gate

Main cast and credits:

  • Naomi Watts … Rachel – Shut In; King Kong; The Ring; Matinee
  • Simon Baker … Max Rourke
  • David Dorfman … Aidan
  • Elizabeth Perkins … Dr. Emma Temple
  • Gary Cole … Martin Savide
  • Sissy Spacek … Evelyn – Castle Rock TV series; Carrie
  • Ryan Merriman … Jake
  • Emily VanCamp … Emily
  • Kelly Overton … Betsy
  • James Lesure … Doctor
  • Daveigh Chase … Samara (archive footage)
  • Kelly Stables … Evil Samara
  • Cooper Thornton … Father of Emily
  • Marilyn McIntyre … Mother of Emily
  • Jesse Burch … Male Reporter
  • Michael Chieffo … Printing Staffer
  • Steven Petrarca … Young Detective
  • Michael Dempsey … Desk Sergeant
  • Kirk B.R. Woller … Detective
  • Jeffrey Hutchinson … Coroner Attendant
  • Chane’t Johnson … Adoption Counselor
  • Mary Joy … Sister Elizabeth
  • Michelle Anne Johnson … Nurse
  • Teri Bibb … Head Nurse
  • Jill Farley … Second Nurse
  • Aleksa Palladino … Young Nurse
  • Victor McCay … Desk Man

Filming locations:

Astoria, Oregon
Chinook, Washington (car boot sale)
Los Angeles, California

Running time:

110 minutes | 128 minutes (unrated)

Production and release:

The Ring Two was filmed between 13 May 2004 and 1 November 2004 and released on March 18, 2005.

Box office:

The movie took a worldwide gross of $161 million against a reported budget of $50 million.

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