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< Entertainment >

New Movie Reviews

"The Ring Two"

by Michael Handorf
Handorf@comcast.net

Naomi Watts. David Dorfman. Gothic Horror.

Synopsis: Aidan and Rachel move from Seattle to the Oregon coast (Astoria) but Samara, the apparition from the killer videotape, isn’t quite done with them yet.

Review: This was not as spine tingling as the original, which had plot points that turned on really nuanced items, like the simple response to a psychiatrist’s question. But still, it fares better than 90% of the schlock to which we are subjected in the name of horror, which has already produced 4 poorly executed retreads this year (Hide and Seek, Boogeyman, Cursed, and Alone in the Dark).

Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) fled Seattle for a more family-friendly environment on the Oregon coast. Having evaded the homicidal advances of Samara, Rachel is looking to spend more quality time with her son. She takes a job at the Daily Astorian, a far cry from her last reporting position in Seattle.

But it seems as though Samara’s grasp isn’t constrained to geography, but more to the rapidly dying video format known as VHS - she hasn’t released her 1-minute student film on DVD yet.

Anyway, the tape shows up in Astoria, and a teenager ends up dead, with another on the way to a mental ward. Rachel takes possession of the videotape (without watching it, mind you) and destroys it. So, it’s over, right?
Not quite, or we would have been leaving the theatre after 25 minutes.

Nope, things take a turn for the worse because Samara seems to have been released from the need to use the videotape to kill her victims. She can now ‘possess’ other children, like Aidan, and dispose of enquiring minds (and the bodies in which they are housed) without the use of a VCR.

It’s tough to capture the lure of the original film here, because there were specific elements that pulled you in - the 7-day waiting period for death after watching the tape, the investigative reporting angle that pitted a young journalist against both a seemingly insolvable puzzle and a time clock, and that absolutely spectacular ferry scene.

But we have some of those ingredients here, in different doses. I don’t want to give anything away, but let me write this - after having seen this film, you’ll never look at a deer crossing sign the same way again.

This film suffers from the burden of being a sequel. Watts is good, and Dorfman is just creepy. But if you are inclined to view an occasional horror flick, this is the first one of the year to consider.

OVERALL GRADE: B

 

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