Mandi Apple, 2002.
Fair Warning: a reasonable amount of spoilers are contained within the pictures - beware!

Directed by Nakata Hideo, 1998, 95 min. starring Matsushima Nanako, Sanada Hiroyuki, Nakatani Miki, Yanagi Yuurei, Daisuke Ban, Numata Yoichi, Masako, Rie Inoue, Masato and Sato Hitomi.

After the debacle that surrounded the phenomenal success of Ring and the total failure of Rasen, within just a few months Asmik Ace decided to quietly sideline Rasen, and call the original cast and crew of Ring back in to make the "official" sequel. Ring 2, once again directed by Nakata Hideo, is, as horror sequels go, not such a bad attempt at a true continuation of the story. The minor characters from Ring made a comeback as the stars of Ring 2, and also gave a deeper insight into elements from the first film.

However, whilst Rasen followed along the plot of Kôji's original novel quite closely, Nakata saw no real need to be quite so faithful to the story; many of the traditional horror elements became replaced with slightly dodgy sci-fi and some slightly incredible factoids instead. Set a mere week after the events of Ring, though, Ring 2 does give the viewer a nice sense of continuity.

That said, the film is still a very enjoyable experience (although if you watch it without having seen Ring, you won't understand any of it), and there are plenty of really chilling scenes that more than make up for the mad-scientist parts.


The film opens in a hospital mortuary, a week after the body of Sadako has been recovered. Shizuko's cousin, Yamamura Takashi (played by Numata Yoichi), is called in by the police to throw some light on the mysterious events surrounding Sadako's death.

At the same time, the police are questioning Takano Mai (Nakatani Miki) about the even stranger circumstances of her professor/boyfriend Takayama Ryuji (Sanada Hiroyuki)'s death. They suspect that somehow his ex-wife Asakawa Reiko (Matsushima Nanako) is involved, particularly after the equally strange death of Reiko's father in similar circumstances. Reiko and her son Yoichi have disappeared and Yoichi has become mute after having watched the video (in Ring).

So as a result of her own grief and concern for Reiko and Yoichi, Mai decides to investigate. She knows the story of the cursed video, but not the reasons behind it. Her first lead takes her to the newspaper office where Reiko used to work, and there she teams up with another reporter, Okazaki (Yanagi Yuurei) who also wants to track Reiko down and learn more about what's been going on.

Together, they decide to see if they can visit Tomoko's friend Kurahashi Masami (Sato Hitomi) who is still locked up in a secure mental health facility, having gone crazy after the death of Tomoko which happened in front of her. Masami also cannot speak, and seems to have developed some pretty intense psychic powers of her own. At the hospital, Okazaki and Mai meet a doctor who was a friend of Ryuji's, and who is treating Masami. This doctor has a theory: that psychic power (nensha in Japanese) can be released and dissipated by water.

However, after an experiment with Masami goes disastrously wrong, the doctor, his nurse, Okazaki and Mai all come into contact with the curse video via a mental projection of it sent out by Masami to their TV screen.

Intrigued by the idea, Okazaki interviews some teenagers about the video, and finds one, Kanae, who has seen it, and gives him a copy of it on the provision that he should watch it within a week. He locks it away with no intention of watching it, consigning Kanae to a horrible death.

In the meanwhile, Mai carries on the investigation with the doctor, hoping that what she learns might be able to help Yoichi, if she ever finds him… but she only has seven days in which to try and find them and break the ring forever…

As the second part of the sequence, Ring 2 really isn't so awful. The weird-science scenes are a bit risible, but Nakata makes a pretty damn good job of carrying on in much the same vein as the first movie. My one criticism would be that there is a lot of explanation and very little action, and the feeling of the film is a bit hokey and non-sequitur at times. But there are quite a few scenes that are genuinely affecting and downright disturbing, and these alone make Ring 2 worth watching if you're a fan of the original film, although you do wonder if Nakata is setting the scene to make Ring 3...

Snowblood Apple Rating for this film:
Entertainment value: 8/10
Sex: 0/10
Violence: 2/10
Supernatural Death Rate: People drop like flies in this one
Appearances of Evil Incarnate: approximately 4-5
Mysterious Pronouncements Made By Sadako: 1
Scare Factor: 7/10
Confusion Factor: 57% chance of bewilderment, 43% chance of headache


Ring 2 / Ringu 2 Wallpaper
Please note: the Snowblood Apple logo does not appear on the full-size versions

You can download this wallpaper here: [800x600] [1024x768]

You can download this wallpaper here: [800x600] [1024x768]
Wallpaper credit: Alex Apple, 2002, 2003.

Snowblood Apple Filmographies:
Nakata Hideo
Nakatani Miki
Yanagi Yuurei
Numata Yoichi
Hitomi Sato
Matsushima Nanako
Sanada Hiroyuki

The absolute very best site dedicated to Ring and all its sequels, prequels, stage productions and TV spinoffs is of course Ringworld where you can find out everything there is to know about this wonderful series. There are more links featured on the intro page.

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