In the original Ring a cursed videotape—featuring a short video that looks like it was made by a first year film student who had watched too many Luis Buñuel films—is doing the rounds, killing its audience seven days after viewing. Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfmann) are among the condemned but, after the harrowing deaths of a few bit-part actors—the equivalent of the dispensable red shirted actors in Star Trek—they discover that by making a copy of the tape, a gruesome demise can be averted. You would think that by the time the sequel rolled around that the family in this movie would have gotten rid of their outdated VCR and invested in a DVD player. That might have stopped the curse of the videotape, but no. The Ring Two is a typical horror sequel where the survivors of the first film believe the danger has been left behind until someone dies, and the horror starts again.
A very uneven film, The Ring II is drowned in clichés and sees the wet and weird spirit Samara behave like slasher king Jason Voorhees. The movie has a suitably spooky tone and a few shocking moments, all underlined by a moody score, but the scares don’t last past the first viewing. You won’t be looking over your shoulder on the way home from the theatre.
If you liked The Grudge from earlier this year, you’ll like The Ring II.