The Ring Two

The Ring Two (2005)
Dreamworks Home Entertainment
Cast: Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Elizabeth Perkins, Simon Baker, Sissy Spacek
Extras: Short Film, Featurettes

Never change a winning horse, they say, and usually that turns out to be good advice. In the case of making movie sequels sometimes it would be better to cash in the winnings and leave it at that. "The Ring Two" is such a case, sadly, where uninspiredness and greed coaxed a movie out of the filmmakers that should never have seen the light of day.

"The Ring Two" continues a few months after the end of the first one. Rachel and her son Max try to escape the horrors of the past by moving to a remote small town and the curse finds them again. Whoopdedoo… what a coincidence that out of the entire world, the only existing copy of the cursed tape resurfaces in the hands of teenagers in that very same remote small town. And it goes downhill from there. "The Ring Two" is uninspired and predictable throughout, freely borrows from the first film creating repetitive sequences and most importantly, the film is totally incoherent and sluggish. Pacing is completely off making the movie a bore instead of a fright, and ever so often you ask yourself "What just happened? What does this have to do with anything?"

Where "The Ring" was a magnetic horror film that was oozing scares in every frame, "The Ring Two" is simply tedious, without highlights and without scares. In a word, it is a waste of time.

Dreamworks Home Entertainment has put together a decent enough DVD for the film. The movie transfer is in clean anamorphic widescreen and is free of blemishes of any sort. Colors are nicely reproduced and the solid black levels help create an atmosphere of doom, keeping you watching the shadows all the time to see if anything moves there. No edge-enhancement is evident and the compression is without flaws.

The audio comes as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is active and dynamic, making good use of the surround channels. I found the track a bit unbalanced with music and stingers that are way too loud, drowning out much of the dialogue at times, making you jump for the remote every so often. For a horror movie, that completely kills the suspension of disbelief, of course, degrading the viewing experience substantially.

The release contains a few supplements, such as a short film about the original and the sequel and their connection, as well as featurettes about the symbolism found on the film. The latter of which is actually quite interesting. The featurette about the "gripping" special effects is not so great, though, because the laughable CGI-deer are not exactly something to be proud of.

"The Ring Two" contains a few occasional skin crawls as a result of its atmosphere but for the most part the film lacks ideas and vision, and the cheapo CGI effects don't help much either to improve this film. It is all simply too conveniently set up in the plot and the entire film feels desperately forced. If you can help it, just skip this release and watch the original "The Ring" or "Ringu" for a real, chilling horror experience.