Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Miki Nakatani, Hitomi Sat˘, Ky˘ko Fukada, Fumiyo Kohinata, Kenjir˘ Ishimaru
Director: Hideo Nakata
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
While investigating the horrifying death of her boyfriend mai takano learns about a videotape haunted by a spirit of a disturbing girl named sadako which kills anyone who watches it exactly one week later. When her boyfrie... more »
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Not as terrible as some would have you believe...but still n
Johnny Anarchy | Schenectady, NY | 07/06/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sequels, to just about anything, usually have a tough hill to climb in order to actually be worth any sort of merit. Sequels to movies are usually the least rewarding of them all...and when you have to follow up a classic that makes things even harder.
And on top of all that, it is a horror movie sequel. Horror being a genre where there is almost no middle ground. A horror movie that doesn't constantly scare in people's minds is a bad horror film. Period. End of story. It is also a genre that gets churned out en masse every year (since they can be made cheap by just about anybody) so much that like any protagonist in a survival horror film...the good ones are heavily outnumbered.
Ringu was a movie that created a sense of dread and urgency about it. It didn't heap on the jump scares or anything but if you ask any horror aficionado the "sense of dread" a movie elicits is better than being "jump scared" every five minutes.
It was a movie with a mystery to it. One that just didn't need to be solved but HAD to be solved at all costs...and mystery is an ingredient that makes any horror outing all the better.
So what happens when you have to follow up a movie where the main mystery of the prequel gets solved? Having read the Ringu and Rasen novels respectively Rasen turns out to be the more interesting and dread inducing piece...and as you no doubt already know from other reviews the movie adaption to that one didn't fly so well. So how do you essentially "re-do" a sequel to a movie that already had one?
For a movie that had just about everything against it Ringu 2 is one of the more competent horror movie sequels you will come across. Is it great? No. That is even RARER in horror sequels. But it is a worthy effort.
The movie (while sadly not following the "viral" concept of Rasen) essentially deals with the idea that even if you get saved from the cursed tape you are still "imprinted" and effected by it in some way. So much so that if you are near TVs your body sends off a sort of transmission that plays the cursed video on television. It sounds a lot more interesting than it turns out. What would have made it better would be if people actually started dropping dead from this phenomenon...but, alas, they don't.
I can also understand the issue another reviewer had with the character of Mai Takano not being all that interesting or likeable a protagonist. Though you have to consider the fact that the character was out of the loop (no pun intended) in Ringu and therefore -is- a rather clueless character when it comes to all that is going on.
Long story short (too late) is that Ringu 2 while not being all that scary or dread inducing is an interesting attempt at a sequel. Some parts may drag a little and the ending may be a little too hokey, happy, and confusing (japanese horror and thrillers seem to consistently have a problem in this area) it is still a rather interesting sequel...and one where a friend of mine (who has a peculiar taste in movies) actually liked it better than the first. Yeah, I don't get it either.
Do yourself a favor and rent it. If you loved Ringu you owe it to yourself to check it out...just don't expect a masterpiece.
Ring around Sadako
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 09/22/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1998, the sequel to the hit horror film "Ringu" was made. The film "Rasen" was based on Koji Suzuki's sequel of the same name. Well, people hated the movie, and it tanked at the box office. So the succeeding year, the production company made a totally unrelated sequel: "Ringu 2."
As a result, "Ringu 2" is not up to the standards of the original movie; it suffers from a case of sequelitis, and it has little connection to Suzuki's original books. Despite this, it's not nearly as bad as it could have been. It suffers from several weak spots (Mai, Mai, Mai), but has quite a few chills too.
It picks up where "Ringu" left off: Ryuji (Hiroyuki Sanada) has died of the curse, and ex-wife Reiko (Nanako Matsushima) and her young son have vanished. Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani), Ryuji's girlfriend, is shocked by his mysterious demise. Soon she hears rumours of a cursed videotape, which kills anyone who watches it, seven days later.
Searching for more answers, Mai sets out to find Reiko and her son Yoichi (Rikiya Otaka). But when she does, she finds that Yoichi is demonstrating psychic powers similar to the ghoulish Sadako. Unsurprisingly, Reiko isn't about to allow Sadako to possess her son -- and will sacrifice anything to keep him safe.
Don't expect splatter-gore and undead monsters right off the bat. "Ringu 2" is a slow-cooking horror movie, which takes until the final act to make your hair stand on end. Unfortunately, that's most of the movie, and the slowness of it is a distinct drawback.
Up until that final act, it's rather passionless, as if the scriptwriters were killing time with exposition. Alas, the potentially-possessed child isn't enough to scare us, and neither is the exposition-of-the-Ring-virus subplotting. Just wait it out, and eventually you'll get scared sleepless.
Hideo Nakata, knowing when he's got a good thing going, retains a lot of things from the first movie: Creepy lighting, direction, colourless surroundings, nightmare worlds and family problems. He also retains that quietly creepy dialogue, and the minimalistic glimpses of Sadako. The less we see her, the creepier she is.
Matsushima does the same thing she did in "Ringu," only more so. And she's good at the terrified, confused woman who will do whatever it takes to save her son. It's nice to see that Nakata retained that important theme from the first film. Nakatani is the flipside; while she's a pretty good actress, her character is rather naive and twerpy.
Thankfully, in creating their own "Ringu 2," Hideo Nakata and Co. expanded on the story rather than repeating it with a new cast. And while the result is rather boring for the first few acts, the final parts are shocking and ghastly."
Ringu? About as scary as Pingu.
The Curmudgeon | Latveria | 09/01/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Lord, I wanted to like this. I rate the original highly, in that you could really relate to the plot in a "what would YOU do?" scenario (like the "would YOU say Candyman five times in the mirror?") but when the plot goes so much up its own arse (I'm British, I'm allowed to say that) that one of the main scenes involves PLUGGING a boy into a swimming pool because "sea water isn't conductive enough" (don't ask) you just know your simple premise has jumped right down that damn well alongside old Marilyn Manson-features.
The scares just aren't here either. Instead of watching behind your fingers at Sadako like in the first movie, here you just feel like telling her "you know what? Get over it. And brush your hair".
I've yet to see the third installment of this never ending franchise, but if this bloated mess is anything to go by I won't be missing much. No funny comments here, because it's a real shame. It's always fun to rip into bad movies and CD's, but The Curmudgeon gets no pleasure from mocking movies that COULD, and SHOULD, have been great. It's just part of the job.
A decent yet over-complicated attempt at a sequel.
Ben Stubbs | Australia | 11/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After "Ringu" knocked my socks off a few years ago, I was very much looking forward to the sequel, but not really sure where they were going to take the story. It would have been all too easy to simply take the Sadako character after the immense impact she had to the climax of the first film, and make a horror movie where she goes on a rampage of death and destruction. As it turned out, the creators took a much more subtle approach, choosing to continue with the first films creepy atmosphere and mystery. Unfortunately, "Ringu 2" doesn't match up to the original on almost any level and I feel it massively overcomplicates the scenario.
The good news is that the film "feels" very much like the first one. Nearly all of the actors have returned and the story just continues exactly where it left off. The police are still trying to figure out what is behind the strange deaths and who the body that was found in the well belonged to. Scientists are also looking into the phenomena, which brings a different spin to it. One of the survivors from "Ringu" can be found in the psychiatric ward, petrified by TVs. Reiko (the star of the first film) and Yoichi (the little boy) are also involved, and this all makes "Ringu 2" a living, breathing part of the series. The challenge was always going to be finding a way to scare the audience a second time and this is where I feel they have failed. But not through a lack of trying!
With "Ringu", once you accepted that someone would die a week after viewing the tape, the rest of the film (apart from one of the main character's ability to read minds to move to plot forward) was intensely frightening and real. The second film unfortunately takes further liberties, with another couple of characters suddenly gaining special powers and Sadako starting to appear in random scenes for shock value alone. A character that died in the first movie appears as an apparition to help Mai and the little boy appears as an apparition even though he is still alive. This just doesn't work as well in my opinion with the viewer's ability to suspend disbelief made far more difficult. I can't help but think they should have stuck to the world they'd created in the first movie, without over-complicating things. There's no need to explain how Sadako does what she does and yet they spend far too much time analysing it instead of letting her mystery and shocking appearance do its work.
These flaws included, I still found the film to be somewhat creepy and mildly entertaining. The minimalist approach to music and sound still works well. The acting is passable in the most but certainly not exceptional. I don't completely understand everything that happened, particularly towards the end but I get the general idea. It's simply another case where the cast and crew have made a decent, honourable attempt at a sequel, yet fallen a fair way short of the original, which turns out to be exactly what happened to the American remakes as well."