I have decided just today that I am the reincarnation of Pollyanna Whittier. I have this recurring waking dream that one day someone in Hollywood will say, "You know, that was a good movie, but enough is enough. Let's do something completely original and not make another one." It's a small dream with absolutely no chance of ever coming to fruition, but it's sweet, and it's mine.
I also dream that one day Michael Bay will no longer be allowed to make movies, but I'll save that for my review of The Island.
Within the entire litany of every horror movie ever made, I am hard pressed to find one that ever spawned a sequel that was even remotely decent. (You Scream fans already know the difference between a sequel and a Trilogy, so I'll spare you there, and all of you Army of Darkness fans can stop jumping up and down while I explain the difference between the fantasy and horror genres.) So, I shouldn't have been surprised that I hated The Ring 2, but I have a soft spot for horror movies, (and an even softer spot for a girl with a soft spot for horror movies), and the optimist in me is generally just too damned obnoxious to ignore.
For those of you keeping score, at the end of The Ring, our intrepid, hero-Mom, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts' breakout role) makes a copy of the deadly tape to save the life of her son, Aidan (David Dorfman). The Ring 2 begins with Rachel and Aidan starting over in a small town, trying to put all that Samara nastiness behind them. Ah well, you can't blame a mom for trying.
The movie starts out well enough with a high school couple getting a hold of a copy of Samara's videotape. The requisite calamity ensues. Lots of creepy imagery, lots of, "oh no, Samara is back, and she's after the kid again. What is Rachel gonna do?" And then...
Rachel does pretty much exactly what she did in the first movie. So similar are the plots of The Ring and The Ring 2 that I almost want to have my lawyer ring up Hiroshi Takahashi and Hideo Nakata about that $15 I shelled out for the tickets to this thing.
The worst kick to the head with this movie comes late in the show. No, it's not the silly-assed scene with the deer, nor is it Nakata's drastic overuse of water imagery (a trend that doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon, judging by the previews for his next movie, Dark Water). Rachel, consummate investigator that she is, finds Samara's birth mother, Evelyn (played with creepy effectiveness by Sissy Spacek). When it's revealed that the reason Samara is possessing Rachel's son, is that she just wants a mommy, it never even crosses Rachel's mind to get these two together. Samara possesses Evelyn, Evelyn gets to spend the rest of her days with her lost child (sort of). Samara gets to work out her mother issues right at the source. Plot gets tied up nicely, leaving virtually no opening for The Ring 3. Everybody wins.
One final note about the actors. There wasn't a lot of chemistry between Naomi Watts and David Dorfman in the first movie, but Gore Verbinkski played off that estranged feeling, and used it to ramp up The Ring's pervasive feeling of impending doom. In the sequel, that absence of on-screen chemistry detracts immensely from the story. So much so, in fact, that I had an extremely difficult time reconciling all the gyrations Rachel goes through to save her boy's life, with the way they treat each other when they're not being stalked by the crazy, electronic, ghost lady.
The Ring 2 is just bad. It's full of internal logic inconsistencies, stupid, non-sensical imagery (the deer, the deeeer), and it commits the worst sin a horror movie can commit. It's flat out not scary.
Unless you are a completist, or just a masochist, it's not even worth renting on DVD. The Ring 2 is a listless, meandering mess that fails to entertain on any level. Go waste your money on something else.