The Ring Two
|The Ring Two|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Hideo Nakata|
|Produced by||Walter F. Parkes
|Written by||Ehren Kruger|
|Based on||Ring by Kôji Suzuki
Ringu by Hiroshi Takahashi
|Music by||Henning Lohner
|Edited by||Michael N. Knue|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|March 18, 2005|
|Box office||$161.5 million|
The Ring Two is a 2005 American psychological horror film, and a sequel to the 2002 film The Ring, which was a remake of the 1998 Japanese film Ring. Hideo Nakata, director of the original Japanese film Ring, on which the American versions are based, directed this film in place of Gore Verbinski.
The movie was filmed in Astoria, Oregon and Los Angeles, California. It was released on March 18, 2005 and although it was met by generally negative critical reception, it opened in the United States with a strong US$35 million its first weekend, more than doubling the opening weekend of The Ring. Its final $76 million domestic gross was less than the original's $129 million, but it took $85 million internationally, for a total gross of $161 million.
In the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon approximately six months after the events of the first film and immediately after the events in the short film Rings. Vanessa is seen encouraging Emily as she is making her decision to go to Jake as he asks Emily to come over to his house under the guise of studying together. His motives, however, are actually to have Emily watch Samara Morgan's cursed video tape, as his seven-day deadline is fast approaching. Emily plays the tape while Jake waits in the kitchen, but when he returns to the living room, it is revealed that she covered her eyes throughout the tape, and thus didn't see any of it. As she failed to perpetuate the guidelines of the tape's curse, Samara crawls out of the television and kills Jake in front of Emily as she screams.
Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) have moved from Seattle to Astoria. Rachel begins a new job at The Daily Astorian, a local newspaper, working for Max Rourke (Simon Baker). Before long, there is news of the teenager's death in town. Rachel investigates, finding the dead boy's face shows a twisted expression of horror just like the previous victims of Samara Morgan's tape. Upon finding the boy's corpse, she also has a vision of Samara grabbing her and declaring "I found you." She goes to the police station and persuades the girl who witnessed the boy's death to tell her where the tape is. She takes the tape deep into the woods and burns it.
Aidan has a dream in which he comes down to the television room without Rachel home, and is pulled into the screen by Samara when the videotape starts. Back at home, Aidan starts to develop hypothermia, and his body is suddenly covered with bruises. At a county fair, Aidan takes pictures of himself in the bathroom mirror, with a blurred Samara standing behind him. His behavior grows increasingly odd and distant, and while Rachel and Aidan drive home from the fair, a deer attacks their car, nearly killing them. This event was apparently mysteriously foreseen by Aidan, who warned Rachel of impending danger seconds before the deer came out of nowhere. Strange occurrences within their house (including visions of Samara, a burn mark in the wall which resembles the tree from the cursed video, and seeming poltergeist activity) frighten Rachel, leading her and Aidan to flee. Rachel subsequently asks Max if he can take care of the increasingly sick Aidan at his house.
Max says that Aidan's condition merits a trip to the hospital, but Rachel, knowing that his illness is unnatural, is adamant that traditional doctors cannot help him. When Rachel attempts to give Aidan (who suddenly develops a mysterious fear of water) a warm bath at Max's, a series of paranormal events leads to Rachel seeing Aidan's body replaced by Samara. Max walks in when she attempts to drown Samara, and sees her trying to drown Aidan instead. Suspicious, he insists on taking Aidan to the hospital against her wishes, stating, "You wanted my help, now you're getting it."
Based on the bruises on Aidan's body, the hospital staff, particularly psychiatrist Dr. Emma Temple (Elizabeth Perkins), suspect child abuse on Rachel's part, because Rachel reveals she suffered from postpartum depression, and won't allow her to be near her son. Desperate for answers, Rachel flees the hospital and returns to the Morgan Ranch (which is now being sold) to dig deeper into Samara's past. Knowing that Samara was not Richard and Anna Morgan's biological child, she tracks down Samara's birth mother, Evelyn (Sissy Spacek), who tried to drown Samara as an infant and has been living in a mental institution ever since. Meanwhile, Samara (in Aidan's body) inflicts a psychic assault on Dr. Temple, forcing Dr. Temple to commit suicide so that Samara (in Aidan's body) can escape the hospital.
Evelyn advises Rachel to "listen to your baby" when she seeks advice on how to deal with Samara. Max goes to Rachel's house to check on her, only to find Aidan watching tv alone. He attempts to surreptitiously capture Aidan on film in order to reveal Samara, as Aidan had before Samara possessed him. Aidan/Samara notices the camera. When Rachel returns home, she finds Max's truck parked outside and his dead body inside with the same twisted face of Samara's other victims. Disturbed and unsure of what to do, Rachel goes inside to face her possessed son.
Rachel falls asleep and dreams of Aidan telling her how to release Samara from his body. After waking, Rachel tells Aidan/Samara that he should go to sleep. Aidan responds that he never sleeps. She crushes sleeping pills in a sandwich, and after eating, Aidan falls asleep.
Rachel fills the upstairs bathtub with water and holds an unconscious Aidan underwater. Aidan suddenly wakes up, telling Rachel that he is still Aidan. Rachel then drowns Aidan and Samara's spirit leaves his body, and Rachel is then able to revive him. However, Samara attempts to come back into the house through the TV set. Rachel grabs onto Samara as she is emerging, and is pulled into Samara's well inside the world of the cursed video. Looking up, Rachel realizes that the well lid is always left open. Rachel begins climbing the side of the well. Halfway up, Samara emerges from the water below and also ascends in a very inhuman fashion. Rachel climbs out of the well just as Samara cries '"Mommy!"' in an inhuman voice. Rachel responds angrily that she's not her mother and pushes the lid shut, trapping Samara in the well, ending the cycle for good,
As Rachel wanders the monochromatic world of the cursed tape, she hears Aidan's voice and walks toward it, only to come to the cliff where Anna Morgan jumped to her death. She hears Aidan calling her name below. Determined to follow Aidan's voice, Rachel jumps off the cliff and ends up back in her living room with Aidan, where they embrace. Aidan calls Rachel '"Mommy"', and she asks him to just call her Rachel. The film ends when the camera pans out of the house, views the sky, where a crescent moon can still be seen in the distance. The shot shows the street, and the scene cuts to black with the sounds of flickering heard, and the credits roll.
- Naomi Watts as Rachel
- Simon Baker as Max
- David Dorfman as Aidan
- Elizabeth Perkins as Dr. Emma Temple
- Gary Cole as Martin Savide
- Sissy Spacek as Evelyn
- Ryan Merriman as Jake
- Emily VanCamp as Emily
- Kelly Overton as Betsy
- James Lesure as Doctor
- Daveigh Chase as Samara
- Kelly Stables as Evil Samara
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Young Evelyn
The Ring Two has received generally negative reviews from critics that praised Naomi Watts for her performance but criticized the plot and screenplay. The film has a 20% approval rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 183 reviews, with the consensus: "Ring Two serves up horror cliches, and not even Hideo Nakata, the director of the movies from which this one is based, can save the movie from a dull screenplay full of absurdities." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, gave the film a 44 out of 100 based on 37 reviews from critics. Roger Ebert, however, considered it better than the first film, giving it 2½ stars and writing "The charm of The Ring Two, while limited, is real enough; it is based on the film's ability to make absolutely no sense, while nevertheless generating a real enough feeling of tension a good deal of the time."
In the Unrated Edition DVD release, a few extra scenes were included that were not in the theatrical release. These scenes included conversations with Rachel's new neighbor (and neighborhood gossip), numerous additions in which Max shows a romantic interest in Rachel, more scenes with Samara prior to her possession of Aidan (including one in which she is shown to enter him in the restroom at the local fair), and the short film Rings (which was also included on a special edition of The Ring released just before The Ring Two arrived in theaters). A scene in the theatrical cut in which Aidan first encounters a deer while wandering the local fair (prior to the deer attack) has also been removed from this version. Also, some musical cues were changed such as when Samara leaps out of the well in the opening scene. The opening scene was also longer. The scene when the power went out was changed with a scene of the lights in Aidan's room going on and off, as well as the oven downstairs going on fire.
Paramount Pictures announced a third film The Ring 3D with F. Javier Gutiérrez directing. In August 2014, Paramount was in talks with Akiva Goldsman to write a third draft of the screenplay, previously worked on by David Loucka and Jacob Aaron Estes. In November, Gutiérrez posted an Instagram photo that showed that the current title of the sequel is Rings. In January 2015, Italian model and actress Matilda Lutz was cast for the leading role and in March 2015, Alex Roe earned the male leading role. The official release date is set for February 3, 2017 in the USA.
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