Publicity Stills of "Samara"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Hideo Nakata
Starring: Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Simon Baker, Elizabeth Perkins, Ryan Merriman, Sissy Spacek
RunTime: -
Released By: UIP
Rating: PG

Release Date: 7 April 2005

Synopsis :

Six months after the horrifying events that terrorized Rachel Keller and her son Aidan (David Dorfman), the two have left their home in Seattle to escape the haunting memories of Samara and her cursed videotape, which left so much death in its wake. Moving to the small coastal community of Astoria, Oregon, Rachel and Aidan hope to start fresh. However, Rachel’s resolve quickly turns to dread when evidence at a local crime scene—including an unmarked videotape—seems eerily familiar. Rachel realizes that the vengeful Samara is back and more determined than ever to continue her relentless cycle of terror and death.

Movie Review:

Picking up six months after the events in the first, Watts returns as ex-Seattleite Rachel Keller who left the big city for the relative obscurity of country life in the seemingly idyllic confines of the beautiful Astoria, a change in scenery where best for both her and her son Aidan after the horrific events that rocked their lives. While taking a job at the local paper, all going wonderfully well, until a mysterious tape shows up in town along with the gruesomely disfigured corpse of a local high school student. Rachel thought by making a copy, Samara would leave them alone. She was wrong, and now Samara has found her and Aidan, and it’s time for the evil ghost-child to return once again to the world of flesh and blood.

I was an immediate fan of Japanese director Hideo Nakata’s frightening “Ringu” and was somewhat dismayed by the heavy-handed remake helmed by Gore Verbinski, a filmmaker not known for his horror background. “The Ring” was a kitchen sink kind of film, eschewing the subtlety of the original for a story that needed to explain everything going on, leaving little to the film-goer’s imagination. I’m a firm believer that the best horror films are more psychological than visual and was glad to see Nakata as helmer for “The Ring Two.”

Unfortunately, for some, this film might find it sort of a mish-mash of elements taken from the first film, the Japanese sequel, The Exorcist, The Omen, even David Cronenberg’s Videodrome; it’s both too much and too little all at the same time, Kruger apparently does explain some of the history of Samara from the previous film, this sequel seemed detached.

Poor Nakata, it’s a shame the masterfully talented macabre master ended up having to endure a script this pitiful to make his American debut. Still, he did manage a few scenes of startling wit and icy ingenuity. The reindeer attack, although didn’t seem quite fit into the storyline did impressed me on its own. A merry realtor conducting an open house at the Morgan's farm adds a great dash of black humor. A series of digital pictures taken by Aidan reveal an animated Samara and tie back to the first film's distorted pictures of the doomed and never has the phrase 'I love you mommy' had such chilling innuendo. Also kudos to Gabriel Beristain’s chilly cinematography and Hans Zimmer’s eerie score that effectively stood out in the film.

If only "The Ring Two" had continued with the level of tension it begins with, when teenaged Jake attempts to seduce Emily with a scary tape, saving his life by trading hers. This may be the first sequel where I actually wish they'd made another copy.

Movie Rating: B-

Review by Lokman B.S.

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