Movie Name: Ringu 2
Studio: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co.
Release Date(s): January 23, 1999
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
The horror has continued. Reiko Asakawa (Nanako Matsushima) is on the run with her son Yōichi (Rikiya Ōtaka) who now is possessed by Sadako (Rie Inō) who is still threatening to escape. Ryuji Takayama’s former assistant Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani) has set out in search of Reiko and Yōichi with a reporter named Okazaki (Yūrei Yanagi) who is following up on Reiko’s story. As Mai gets closer to the truth, the danger grows greater!
Directed by Hideo Nakata, Ringu 2 (リング2 or often called Ring 2) is the direct follow-up to Ringu from 1998. Ringu was actually followed by Rasen (or Spiral) in 1998 but with a story less tied to the original.
I know it isn’t the norm, but I actually like The Ring better than Ringu. That being said, Ringu 2 is probably better than the American sequel to The Ring. However, that isn’t saying much. Ringu 2 lacks direction much like the American sequel and loses a lot of scares of the first film.
The plot is all over the place and the movie plays out more like a version of Ju-on which is a much more branching Japanese story. There are way too many players in Ringu 2 and the scariest aspect of Ringu (Sadaku) gets downplayed. The best part of the Ringu 2 is the well scene with Sadaku once again taking center stage…but by that point in the film, I’m rather lost on what exactly is occurring.
Ringu 2 lacks a strong central character. Miki Nakatani can be seen as the “star” of the movie, but through a lot of the movie she feels like a bit player. Yūrei Yanagi plays a major role as the reporter, but he just doesn’t feel like an important enough part of the film (until the end in which he continues the curse).
Visually, Ringu 2 also lacks a lot of what made the first film memorable. The creepy tape and the investigation into it drove the story. The tape’s visuals spilled out into the movie. Without much of a tape, the visuals of this movie are lacking (though I did like the recreation of the hair brushing scene in the movie).
Ringu 2 was a lackluster follow-up to a rather revolutionary movie. Regardless if I liked The Ring better than Ringu, Ringu was a more important film. Ringu 2 just feels like it is capitalizing on the franchise. Ringu 2 was followed by Sadako 3D in 2012.
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