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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

The Ring Two

I saw The Ring Two with high hopes because I was a fan of the original. And while it had some scary scenes, I walked out of the theater a little disappointed.

For those unfamiliar with the plot, the concept here is that an evil little girl named Samara has transcended her own death via a cursed video tape that kills anyone who watches it. In The Ring, Rachel (Naomi Watts) stumbles on the tape while investigating the death of a relative, and is drawn into the strange world surrounding the life and death of little Samara. In The Ring Two, Rachel and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) have moved away and are starting a new life, but the legacy of the tape continues to haunt them.

The beginning of the movie is slow, but it accelerates nicely including what I am sure is the scariest deer scene ever on film. The plot is interesting, and the creep factor is good, but I wanted to know more about Samara and her evil tape. After seeing two hours of film based on a concept I already know, I want to feel like I have been immersed in the mysteries of that world, that now that I understand more, and that the possibilities are even scarier. Instead, I felt like I had just seen some scary stuff related to the first movie, but there was no sense of an overall story arc or even a well-crafted mythology. It was just weird stuff. I think that the movie failed to provide a story deep or coherent enough to propel it into a sustainable franchise.

While researching the movie, I ran across an excellent fan site which has a very informative FAQ about the Japanese origins of the story. Having read that, I now understand much more about what the story was supposed to be: a girl with formidble psychic powers seeks to exact revenge on those who have wronged her, and does so in a way that is as insidious and personal as it is evil. I fully intend to at least read the first book.

Base Show Rating (BSR): 5/10
Applicable Modifiers:

  • +1 if you liked The Ring
  • -1 if you're expecting a coherent plot

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.