Walking ghosts, but there’s no fearWarning: Anyone who sees “The Ring Two,” the sequel to the horror film that scared the daylights out of audiences around the world in 2002, is at risk of expiring even before the credits start rolling.
The cause of death? Certainly not an eerie fear that the ghost from the original movie might emerge from the screen, but boredom, and the frustration that comes from knowing you have just seen the least scary movie of all time.
The film, which is based on a Japanese movie of the same title, has lost its sense of horror. Even hiring the director of the Japanese film, Hideo Nakata, has not changed the tragic fate that the movie may face here.
The second installment completely loses touch with what really made the movie successful in the first place.
To some extent the true horror of the original film was based on the scarier-than-life girl, Samara Morgan, with her long hair completely covering her face and slowly walking like the Grim Reaper with obscured body movements to claim the lives of those who had watched a bizarre video a week earlier, but that was not all.
Moviegoers who indulge in horror films have been familiar with twisted, bizarre walking ghosts since the original “Ring” was released. Such ghosts have been replicated in every Asian horror movie, including “The Grudge,” or “Geuruji” in Korean.
The true horror of the original movie lay in the mystery that some unnatural force or being out there is not only living among us but has an easy way to harm us ― videotapes. Also, what really pulled the audience in was the realization that there wasn’t any fundamental way to stop death from closing in.
The only option proposed to escape from the curse was to show the video to another person, which indicated that there was no way to end the curse.
But let’s consider the sequel.
For one thing, “The Ring Two” talks too much. Instead of an eerie feeling spreading through the movie, too much information and too many mysteries are unveiled. There’s nothing worse than a spoiled surprise.
Another annoying thing is that the heroine, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), is the only person who really doesn’t understand what others are trying to say. She is at such a complete loss that it makes you want to shout, “Don’t you get it? How could you not understand what everyone else does?” The movie is full of foreshadowing, yet Rachel never picks up on the clues. Trust me, the clues are far from inconspicuous, which makes “The Ring Two” a really poor copy of “The Sixth Sense.”
Nevertheless, the film does have its moments, my favorite being when Rachel’s son goes to a public toilet and sees Samara standing in the corner. Every time he takes a picture, on the screen of the digital camera we see her coming closer and closer. Another is the way Samara crawls out from the bottom of a well.
But overall, “The Ring Two” is a sad extension of the original, which itself turned out to be a curse. For those seeking a horror flick that can cool you off this summer, this film is not the best choice.
The Ring Two
Horror / English
by Lee Ho-jeong