Franchise Weekend – The Ring 2 (2005)

Director: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, David Dorfman, Elizabeth Perkins, Gary Cole, Sissy Spacek, Ryan Merriman

 

Plot: 6 months after the incidents involving the lethal videotape, new clues prove that there is a new evil lurking in the darkness.


Tagline – Fear comes full circle.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weaker Sequel

 

Story: The Ring 2 starts as Rachel (Watts) and her son Aidan (Dorfman) have set up to start a new life after the events of the first film, Rachel in a small paper, while Aidan has taken after his father, with his love of photography.

When the town has its own video tape going around, killing people, Rachel decides to burn the tape, which only draws the attention of Samara again, as she sees her son targeted by Samara, with Rachel needing to get to the bottom of the tape once again.

 

Thoughts on The Ring 2

 

Characters – Rachel has moved her child to a smaller town to start a new life away from the pain of the previous one. she gets a new job, only for the first day on the job, Samara takes her next victim. Wanting to stop the spread of the curse in this new town, Rachel destroys the video tape, only to see herself become the target once again of Samara. Rachel will need to continue the investigation into who Samara was and why she is still haunting the world. Max is one of the co-workers at the newspaper, he isn’t trying to hit on Rachel, but does become the only person that Rachel can turn too. Aidan is the son that has started to take after his father with his love of photography, he does become the target of Samara, we see two different sides to David in this film. Dr Temple is trying to figure out what has been happening to Aidan, first seeing that it could be child abuse, she needs to make sure the child is safe before anything else.

PerformancesNaomi Watts is still strong in the leading role, we need her to show extra motherly emotions in the film this time around. Simon Baker doesn’t get a chance to get going in this film, while David Dorfman does make a big improvement because of the extra additions to his character. The supporting cast are not the strongest either with most getting left to limited screen time.

StoryThe story here continues to see Rachel haunted by Samara needing to continue to unlock the truth about Samara to save her own son from her curse. Now this is a confusing as for a story because everything felt pretty wrapped up at the end of the film, this did end up just putting a forced sequel out there which tries to build more on the Samara legacy. Where this falls short in the story as by giving us weak supporting characters, having the events literally start the day Rachel arrives in the new town and going against certain things that happen in the first film.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film does give us basic moments of scares, though dream sequences a hoping the same jumps can worked in the first film. the mystery continues to look at the mystery about Samara and why she has continued to haunt people.

SettingsThe film was moved to a smaller location, while returning to certain other locations with them being an extra clue involved in the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film have dated already, you can see certain green screens being used, which were meant for uneasy scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
The bath surprise.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dated effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel that tries to build up on the original legacy, only to dive further into something we didn’t need to get more about what is happening.

 

Overall: Simple and weak sequel.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Dark Water (2002)

logoDirector: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Takashige Ichise, Hideo Nakata, Ken’ichi Suzuki, Yoshihiro Nakamura (Screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)

Starring: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata

 

Plot: A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Building, Strong Finish

 

Story: Dark Water starts by showing us how Yoshimi Matsubara (Kuroki) going through a divorce and trying to keep full custody of her child Ikuko (Kanno). We learn that Yoshimi has had psychiatric treatment in that past and her husband wants to use it against her. Yoshimi has to find a new place to live with her little girl and they find a lovely apartment that has something about it. Ikuko goes off wondering around alone discovering a bag on the roof.

In the new apartment there seems to be a water stain on the roof that just keeps returning and growing. The water continues to come in from the room above so Yoshimi starts to investigate the apartment above. We continue to see how the twos lives are moving on with Yoshimi getting a new job and Ikuko starting school. Yoshimi learns about a young girl that went missing in the same area that starts turning up in their lives. Everything escalates when Ikuko goes missing leading to Yoshimi searching desperately for her daughter and trying to solve the case of the missing girl.

Dark Water is one of the original horror films I actually saw the remake first which could be why I didn’t find this as effect as it had been made out to be. Even though it is a good ghost investigation film which is my favourite type of horror, I would say a strong point of the film is not force the ghost to jump out over and over again instead will get the ideas of a ghost turning up nearer the end of the film. This all works out to be a good story but the scares don’t come off to the level you would expect from this style of film. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Hitomi Kuroki: Yoshimi Matsubara is the mother who is trying just to keep everything together while going through a messy divorce, she moves into a new apartment with her daughter only to find it haunted by the ghost of a dead little girl. Yoshimi must work out how to save her daughter and not look crazy along the way. Hitomi does a good job in the leading lady role making every scene between her losing her mind and protecting her child seem important. (7/10)

 

Rio Kanno: Ikuko Matsubara (6) is the little girl getting haunted and potential mistreated by her mother, she has to listen to instruction even though the ghost comes off as a play mate who wants her soul. Rio does a solid job in the role but doesn’t act as scared as she should be. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: Dark Water has a small supporting cast which includes the general building staff, the ghost girl and the people who turn up in everyday life, they all help the story get to its conclusion.

 

Director Review: Hideo Nakata – Hideo gives us a solid horror film that gives us plenty to think about because it tests us on what could be real or in the head before we get the real answers. (7/10)

 

Horror: Dark Water holds back most of the scares until the final third of the film which works because when they do happen we get a more genuine fear about what is happening. (7/10)

Mystery: Dark Water gives us a good mystery to try and solve but only goes one direction about finding it. (6/10)

Thriller: Dark Water doesn’t manage to pull you in as much as it could. (5/10)

Settings: Dark Water creates a natural setting bring the horror right to your door. (8/10)

Suggestion: Dark Water is one for the horror fans to try and enjoy but they may get let down by the number of scares. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: When we finally see the ghost girl.

Worst Part: Slow scares.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has an America Remake.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Ringu

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: From The Creators of Japan’s Acclaimed RINGU, Inspiration for the hit phenomenon THE RING

 

Overall: Dark Water is a good investigation film but falls short with true scares.

Rating 60