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RING TWO, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Putting the events of that deadly tape behind her, Rachel Keller (NaomiWatts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) relocate to Oregon where Rachel works at the local Gazette alongside reporter David Rourke (Simon Baker). A local teenage homicide prompts Rachel to seek the truth behind it. Before long, she links the homicide to the mysterious video tape. Soon, her son is behaving strangely, as if possessed ...

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Being immune to the scares of Japanese horror films for reasons beyond my analysis, watching Ring 2 is rather like an out of body experience for me - not entirely inappropriate, considering the plot, in which young (but dead) Samara tries to inhabit the body of Aiden, so she can have a real live, flesh and blood mum. Her own mum (Sissy Spacek) being incarcerated in a mental institution, where she obsessively cuts paper with scissors and advises (Naomi Watts) to be a good mother "and listen to the voices ... do what your baby tells you."

So it is that I watch Ring 2 without flinching, so I don't miss any of it. I can report that it's very well directed; Hideo Nakata uses the tools of the genre, of course, from sound-scape to the slo-mo pace of characters moving toward the source of a secret. But he also uses sophisticated filmmaking techniques that come from beyond the genre. There are excellent performances to capture in close up, for example, subtle preparations that work subliminally inside the mind of his audience, and the dynamics of structure that come from dramatic storytelling.

I'm probably a cynical shell when it comes to scary movies, but I do recognise that within its own terms, Ring 2 is a strongly crafted film which delivers its payload for those open to it. Indeed, I think Hideo Tanaka - who directed Ringu, the Japanese original - makes a better fist of this sequel than Gore Verbinsky did of the original English version.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

RING TWO, THE (M)
(US, 2005)

CAST: Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, David Dorfman, Elizabeth Perkins, Emily VanCamp, Sissy Spacek, Ryan Merriman

PRODUCER: Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes

DIRECTOR: Hideo Nakata

SCRIPT: Ehren Kruger

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gabriel Beristain

EDITOR: Michael N. Knue

MUSIC: Hans Zimmer

PRODUCTION DESIGN: James D. Bissell

RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 24, 2005







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