4.03.2005

The Ring Two

Water usually symbolizes life, but in "The Ring" series it means death. In the first of the series, "The Ring", Samara Morgan terrorizes viewers with her twisted tale of murder only to return to haunt full circle in "The Ring: Two". Rachel and Aidan thought they had escaped Samara's haunting when they fled to Astoria, and they may have if it wasn't for copies of the video circulating the town.

We are introduced to the continuing tale with Jake and Rachel, two high school teenagers getting together for an evening of what Rachel believes to be simply sex, but Jake has other plans. First, he wants her to view the tape so he can save his own life. Unfortunately for him, Emily plays the tape but doesn't watch. This scenario perpetuates the basis of this story as Rachel (Naomi Watts) examines the victim's dead body and realizes Samara is present in Astoria. Her burning of the tape to preserve the her safety as well as everyone else's, results in her son Aidan being subjected to Samara's ghost. Not only does Samara want a mother, she wants to be Aidan.

The film begins much like a teenage slasher film, but transitions into a story with the look and feel you will recognize from “The Ring”. The dialog in the open scene is poorly constructed and poorly delivered even for a horror film. The remaining of the movie is decently scripted, but has moments that are unintentionally comical. These moments stick out like a gothic rock star at a classical concert, and break away from the established tension and high intensity of the film.

It’s refreshing to know that not all modern horror flicks are flat and rely on light-hearted comedy to draw in audiences. “Two” evolves and expands on the established story instead of replaying a well-liked plot with different characters and similar scenarios. Samara’s past is revealed and her character is given life. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that she earns compassion from the audience considering that she terrorizes and ultimately kills anyone who knows her story, but she becomes a three dimensional and more enticing character.

Sissy Spacek has a powerful, small role as Samara’s mother Evelyn, a long-time resident of a psychiatric hospital. Through this character, the script reveals that there are many others in the same position as Rachel. The complexity and possibilities of this story begin to unfold, which makes one only look forward to the next film in the series.

As a side note, “The Ring” series is an American remake of a Japanese series, “Ringu”. If you are curious whether the American version matches up to the Japanese, you can rent the “Ringu” series at Blockbuster. For now, check out “The Ring: Two” and be prepared for a well-crafted story and intelligent scares.

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