While most horror films combine the supernatural with religious or psychological themes, we are now starting to see a new variety, one combining the paranormal with the technological.
The Ring, along with its sequel The Ring Two are excellent examples of this new breed of horror. In this case, the terror stems from televisions and water indoors – so all movie fans from Cayman seem to be the target audience.
A quick recap for those of you who haven’t seen The Ring, there is a videotape that kills its viewers seven days after they’ve seen it. The tape is the result of Samara, who was left to die by her mother in the bottom of a well but who now exacts revenge from beyond by using her electromagnetic powers.
It takes Rachel (Naomi Watts), a Seattle reporter, and her precocious (and possibly psychic) son Aidan (David Dorfman) to unlock Samara’s mystery.
As in any horror franchise, the evil is never truly defeated and Samara returns in The Ring Two with her sights set on revenge on Rachel and Aidan.
This time around, the whole videotape aspect is set aside and it is more of a case of Samara trying to possess Aidan. And so Rachel must delve into the past to find a way to thwart her.
In a rare turn of events, Ring Two is directed by Hideo Nakata, who also directed Ringu, the Japanese film that The Ring was based on, and its sequel. However it would appear that Nakata had nothing new to bring to this remake, as the film turns into a fairly by-the-numbers effort.
The suspense gets old and the scares are few and far between. If it wasn’t for two chilling scenes and I won’t spoil it by saying which, this film would probably be completely forgettable.
Ring Two suffers from a severe case of sequelitis, an inability to match the expectations of the original. While most horror franchises build on the ‘rules’ set up previously, this one boldly ignores the very elements that made the original work.