Ebert:1/2 Rolling Stone:1/2 TV Guide:1/2
minor plot points revealed!
I liked The Ring 2 but it was no where near as good as The Ring 1. It's one of those forced sequels that was only made because the original did so well at the box office. I know about the Japanese movies of the same name Ringu, Ringu 2 and Ringu 0, but the Ring 2 is not really a remake of Ringu 2. It's a whole new movie. But not really.
What it actually is is an homage or straight up plagiarizer of lots of good horror movies that came before it. It starts off like the first Ring movie (and the Scream series) with a couple of teens who have watched the cursed videotape and now 7 days later are realizing that it might not have been such a good idea. Then soon after, most of the video tape part of the movie is dropped all together and the rest of the film centers on how Samara, the creepy little ghost girl from the video, is now trying to possess Aidan, the little boy from the first movie. To accomplish this demonic possession idea, the film borrows heavily from The Exorcist, The Omen, last months film Constantine, Poltergeist, and every director's favorite movie to copy, Silence of the Lambs.
The boy, Aidan (played by David Dorfman), who hopes so hard to one day be Haley Joel Osment, is a problem character for me in both films but even more so in this one. He seems disinterested in the fact that this demon girl wants to take over his body. He never really assists his mother in stopping Samara. And the relationship he has with his mom, whom he calls Rachel, is just weird. He's spooky quiet all the time for no good reason and honestly, if I was his mother, I would prefer the possessed version who actually calls her Mommy and seems to love her.
Naomi Watts does fine in her role as Rachel and there's a few fun cameos from Elizabeth Perkins and Gary Cole, but the best new character is Samara's mother who Rachel visits at the mental hospital and is played by Sissy Spacek. She's super creepy and looks, in a unintentionally scary way, like the picture Michael Jackson must take to his plastic surgeons. "Make me look like Sissy!"
The only other scene of note in the film is the deer attack. This scene makes no real sense as far as the plot goes but it is pretty intense. Personally I've always been afraid of deer (or any animal that might attack me) This scene basically proved that my worst nightmares about deer may someday come true. People (my wife) thought I was crazy but now I have proof. Deer will attack!
Anyway, The Ring 2 is worth seeing once if you're a fan of the first film if only because you need to know what happens next. You can probably wait to check it out on DVD though. There's lots of better stuff coming to the theatres over the next few months.
Note: Ever since Scary Movie 3 parodied The Ring I can't get their jokes out of my head so it's best if you try to forget those before you go see this one or re-watch the original.