Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Simon Baker, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole, Ryan Merriman, Emily VanCamp and Sissy Spacek

Hideo Nakata

Running Time:
111 mins

Out to buy on DVD 29/08/05

"I've found you"


Six months after letting the tape out into the world, Rachel (Watts) and Aidan (Dorfman) try and get their lives back to normal in the small mountain town of Astoria. Rachel finds her self a new at the local paper and things start to get back to normal, until a teenage homicide with a very similar pattern occurs. When she investigates, Rachel discovers to her horror that a tape has found its way to Astoria and now Samara knows where she and Aidan are.

After the success of the American remake a sequel was inevitable but this one is different, as the director of the Japanese original is at the helm.

'The Ring Two' is more of a continuation than a sequel, forgoing the usual Hollywood trait of sticking to a formula and rehashing what was successful. Here we find Rachel and Aidan riddled with guilt for releasing the tape into the world to save their own lives. Aidan is finding it particularly hard, regressing into his photography for comfort and Rachel still lives in fear that it is not all over. Her fears are justified however because Samara is searching for them and a teenager, who had been experimenting with the tape with a group of friends, had brought her to Astoria. From here on in we find out Samara's true motivations and they are just as terrifying as ever.

By continuing the story and not really rehashing old ideas, this is a sequel that works on many levels. Forgoing the main plot point of the original, the videotape, the film concentrates on Samara's connection to Rachel and Aidan and her resulting obsession. The film also reveals more information about the character's pasts as we learn more about Samara and Rachel. As a horror movie, the tension is also there. As with the Japanese series and the American remake, these films have never been about gore and blood but concentrating on quick shocks and the building of anxiety and fear in the audience. The sequel continues this trait, successful keeps up the notion of not knowing what is coming next.

Naomi Watts and David Dorfman return to their roles of Rachel and Aidan. Watts continues to show that she is one of the best actresses working in Hollywood today with another fine performance. Dorfman proves again that he is a child actor with talent, making Aidan completely convincing, especially when he is consumed by fear. Without the strength of these two performances the film could have been little more than a slightly over the top horror flick but they make it all the more convincing and terrifying.

Director Hideo Nakata returns to the series and gets the chance to play with all the toys Hollywood has to offer. While some may argue that he doesn't really get to stamp his own look on the film, as it does have the same tone as Gore Verbinski's remake, he still does enough to create a level of tension. The film major plus point is that the audience doesn't know what is going to happen next. With the removal of the videotape plot device of the original, we are taken in a new direction. The director uses this fact well and utilises it to create some genuine scares. This difference does take away the continuing tension of the 'seven day' time limit of the first movie but if they had have including this element again it would have taken away any originality.

'The Ring Two' is a good example of how a sequel should be made. By not simply revisiting ideas from the first film and adding a new twist, this film is a continuation of the story of Rachel, Aidan and Samara. If might not have the same level of tension as the first time because of the lack of a seven day time frame but the scares are still here and the anxiety still builds up while you are watching it. Now where was the videotape someone wanted me so desperately to watch?


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie is presented extremely well.


Rings (15.59 mins)
A short film by director Jonathan Liebesman links the first and second movies in the series together. Starring Ryan Merriman as Jake and Emily Van Camp as Emily, the story follows a group of friends who are experimenting with the ring tape. When one of them watches it, they have to make a video diary of their experiences as evil stars to flow into their lives. This is excellent, really capturing the feel of the first film and building anticipation for the second movie. The visual style of the film makes you feel like the character is actually inside the tape, as world becomes more and more real as the seventh days comes all the more closer. This is a must watch for fans of the series.

Imagination in Focus (2.15 mins)
Director Hideo Nakata, producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, writer Ehren Kruger, special effects makeup Rick Baker and star Naomi Watts talk about the direction of 'The Ring Two' and how the man behind the original 'Ringu' came to be involved with the film.

Samara: From Eye to Icon (2.10 mins)
Director Hideo Nakata, writer Ehren Kruger, producer Walter F. Parkes and special effects makeup supervisor Rick Baker talk about the evolution of Samara from the original 'Ringu' through to the Hollywood remake.

HBO First Look: The Making of Ring 2 (13.02 mins)
Director Hideo Nakata, producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, writer Ehren Kruger, special effects makeup supervisor Rick Baker, visual effects supervisor Betsy Paterson and stars Naomi Watts, David Dorfman and Simon Baker take you behind the scenes of the making of 'The Ring Two'. The featurette looks at the continuation of the story of Samara, Rachel and Aidan and takes a look at how the makeup and visual effects for the film were created.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes (10.38 mins)
This collection of scenes that didn't make the final cut include more of Rachel and Aidan moving to their new home, problems at the paper, Aidan's sickness and how the new arrivals affected the neighbourhood. These scenes do not include an introduction or commentary track however, so we don't know why they were cut.

The Haunting of the Ring (2.12 mins)
Director Hideo Nakata, assistant production coordinator Donald Wysal, production designer Jim Bissell, set costumer Jeannine Bourdaghs and stars Naomi Watts and David Dorfman talk about the possible presence of evil spirits on set and all the strange goings on that accompanied the production.

Trailers for 'Red Eye' and 'The Ring'


DreamWorks have done a decent job with the DVD release of 'The Ring Two'. While the featurette are your average, usual bigging up of the stars and director, the makeup and visual effects elements are interesting. The inclusion of 'Rings', which was also included on the special edition re-release of the first film, is also an added bonus and sets up the sequel superbly. A commentary track would have gone a miss however but all in all this isn't a bad release for fans of the horror franchise.


The Ring


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