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While investigating the mysterious death of her boyfriend, Mai (Miki Nakatani) learns of the existence of a videotape that causes those who watch it to die. She then hears the story of Sadako (Rie Ino'o), the vengeful, supernatural force behind the tape. Journalist Reiko (Nanako Matsushima) and her young boy previously watched the tape and survived, but when Mai finds them, the child is fighting off possession by Sadako. As Mai tries to help them, Sadako's spirit comes after her, too.
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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.
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(Japan - 1999)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Theatrical soundtrack: DTS Stereo
A young student (Miki Nakatani) and a TV...Read more