The Ring Two

Rated PG-13 2005

If Japan couldn't do without a sequel, you know Hollywood can't. So The Ring Two, from Ringu director Hideo Nakata, bends over backwards to add new complications to the lives of the same two protagonists: Rachel (Naomi Watts), the hottest journalist in the world, and Aidan (David Dorfman), her way-too-creepy kid. When the cursed videotape reaches their new hometown and claims a victim, Rachel stumbles across the body. This, in turn, allows evil spirit Samara (played by Kelly Stables and Daveigh Chase) to locate Rachel and make a grab for the soul of Aidan. Playing off the real-life issue of postpartum depression, and the ripped-from-the-headlines tales of mothers who have drowned their children, Ring Two sees Samara making onlookers suspect that Rachel is indeed trying to drown her son. Now, if Nakata had taken the final step of making the audience suspect that Rachel is crazy -- and that Samara is now all in her mind -- this could have been a dark masterpiece, and its apparent illogic would be easily explainable. Opportunity missed.

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