Monday, October 12, 2015

Film Reivew: Ringu 2 (1999)

Ringu 2 (Review)
Japan/1999
Format Viewed For Review: DVD
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No
*A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!

"I wouldn't say it tops the original, but it is certainly a worthy sequel."

Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani), Ryuki Takayama's assistant, begins searching for clues regarding his sudden death, which lead her to Sadako and the cursed tape...

Ringu 2 is a direct sequel to Ringu — if you need a recap, you can read my review. The film follows Mai Takano as she searches for answers regarding Ryuki's sudden death. With the aid of Reiko Asakawa's coworker, Okazaki (Yurei Yanagi), Mai is led to Sadako's cursed tape. She also unravels Reiko's actions in regards to saving her son, Yoichi, from the very same curse. Meanwhile, a detective and a doctor conduct their own investigations into Sadako's curse and her psychic abilities. The film leads to an interesting climax and a satisfying ending.

Ringu 2 is a very good horror film. This story has a few more blatant flaws, though. The biggest flaw was the constant retreading. Since Mai is investigating Sadako, Reiko, and Ryuki, the film tends to retread the same ground as the original movie. So, we see and experience a lot of the same. It's not until the latter half where the film begins to differentiate itself and create an identity of its own. The first half isn't a complete lost, though, since the film utilizes psychic abilities to change certain aspects – at least when it comes to presentation. As for the horror, Ringu 2 still plays out as a slow-burn horror film. It has plenty of tension, some chilling imagery, and some jolting jump-scares. If you liked the pacing and the horror of the original, you'll enjoy these very same elements in this film.

The acting was also good. Miki Nakatani is good leading lady. She's occasionally a bit dull, but she nails her facial expressions and conveys terror very well. The supporting cast is also decent. I really had no significant complaints when it came to the acting. The music is as chilling as ever and the film is shot well. There aren't as many haunting portraits as the original, but it is still very ominous and gloomy. Director Hideo Nakata crafts some terrifying scenes with a very effective and gripping pace. Writer Hiroshi Takahashi spends a bit too much time retreading during the first act or so, but he eventually begins crafting a story of his own, while filling the gaps from the original.

Overall, Ringu 2 is a very good film. The story is interesting, the horror is very effective, and it's technically well made. The story can feel a bit slow and repetitive, especially early on, but it eventually remedies itself. If you were interested in the psychic abilities teased in the first film, Ringu 2 delves deeply into those aspects – and with solid results. I wouldn't say it tops the original, but it is certainly a worthy sequel.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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