FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Oct 16, 2005

Day 16- Round and Round

No, no, don't get excited. I'm not talking about the old Ratt song.

Tonight I finally saw Ring 2, despite hearing but nothing but disparaging remarks, even from folks who loved The Ring.

She's coming to get you, Barbara...I mean, Naomi Watts...

I decided to try to approach this movie with an open mind, to stick my middle finger up at all the bad press and just judge it for myself. I know I'm in the minority here, but I kinda liked it. It doesn't come close to matching the quality of the first, to be sure, but it's an entertaining story nonetheless.

After the events of The Ring, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) pack up and move to a new life. Soon, however, it seems that the evil spirit Samara is back to wreak more havok...

This one is just so different from its predecessor that it's pretty pointless to compare the two movies. Superficially, there's a lack of atmosphere to the second film- and the atmosphere of the first counts a great deal towards what made it so effectively terrifying. The Ring was awash in blue, which, in addition to the pervasive rain, set a somber mood for the proceedings. Ring 2 is bright, clean, and well-lit- any menace of the unkown is removed when dark corners are lit.

The Ring presented Rachel with a mystery to solve, and a specific timeline in which to do it: seven days. As the clock ticked down and she uncovered more clues about the mysterious tape, the tension only grew. Here, Rachel needs to find a way to save her son, who's been having nightmares. His body temperature is dropping to hypothermic levels, and he's acting weirder that usual. It's not as linear a plot as the first film, and there's not much of a sense of urgency to the whole deal.

That said, I honestly did enjoy watching it- but as I mentioned, The Ring and Ring 2 are apples and oranges. The first is more a good ol' horror movie, while the second dips heavily into the pool of the supernatural. There's usually a big wall, I find, between myself and supernatural horror movies. I never have any fears that what's happening on screen could happen to me, and so as much as I may enjoy the story, I leave it behind at the theatre. Could a guy like Michael Myers come after me? Yup. Could I become possessed by a demon? I doubt it. The urban legend quality of The Ring drew me in hook, line, and sinker- just like Candyman did when I saw it the first time. The Ring stayed with me for a long time after I saw it, and watching it today it still gets under my skin. Ring 2 wasn't a bad way to spend a couple of hours, but when I turned it off, it was over. While it could've used some more scares overall, images of Samara climbing out of the well did get me to sink further down in to the couch cushions. And let's face it, I think Naomi Watts is such a good actress, I'd probably find her enjoyable in Police Academy 76. And it's got Sissy Spacek, although she doesn't get nearly enough screentime here. Sissy Spacek!

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised, and I'll give it 7 out of 10 dishpan hands.

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