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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 Two 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 Two 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 Two 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.

But all you fans will no doubt welcome the DVD, with its bundle of extras, starting with, Rings, a short film that links The Ring and The Ring Two, followed by a neat doco with make up artist Rick Baker and director Hideo Nakata talking about the creation of Samara, the thing in the well, the black hair hiding gawd knows what, she is the demon of the abandoned child. It's only 2 minutes, but it's a nice touch. The Tanaka profile, Imagination in Focus, is also a bit short, but it's fairly comprehensive in the context. For something longer, there is the 18 minutes deleted/alternate scene segment, and the HBO Making Of feature.

Published August 2, 2005

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(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


RUNNING TIME: 109 minutes



PRESENTATION: Widescreen 16 x 9; audio 5.1; subtitles English - deaf and hard of hearing;

SPECIAL FEATURES: Rings (short film); Samara from Eye to Icon; Easter Egg; HBO First Look, The Making Of; deleted and alternate scenes; profile of director Hideo Nakata; The Haunting of the Ring Two


DVD RELEASE: August 3, 2005

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