The Ring Two is a 2005 American supernatural 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 film was shot 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.
One year after the events of the first film, Samara Morgan’s cursed videotape has been circulating through teenagers in Astoria, Oregon. Jake Pierce is on his seventh day as per the tape's rules, and asks his friend Emily to watch the tape. He briefly steps into his kitchen whilst Emily supposedly watches the tape. Jake receives a phone call and initially thinks it's Samara but is relieved to realize it's only his friend with whom he had planned to trick Emily into watching the tape. Suddenly, Jake notices dark liquid pouring from under the kitchen door and runs outside to the living room, only to discover Emily closed her eyes while watching the tape. Jake is then promptly murdered by Samara.
Rachel Keller and her 10-year old son Aidan (who addresses his mother by her first name), have moved to Astoria from Seattle after sending the tape off into the ether. Rachel works at The Daily Astorian for editor Max Rourke. Rachel learns of Jake’s death, inspecting his body, only for Samara to appear, declaring that she has been looking for her. Rachel obtains the videotape and burns it. Aidan experiences a nightmare where Samara drags him into a television. He soon starts developing hypothermia and bruises on his arms. At a county fair, Aidan wanders into a toilet and takes photographs of his reflection, where Samara appears. Rachel takes him home but they are attacked by wild deer on the way. Rachel realizes Aidan may be possessed by Samara.
Max takes them in, Rachel attempting to give Aidan a bath, but he develops an irrational fear of water. Samara causes the water to recede from the bath, replacing Aidan, terrorising Rachel that she tries to drown Samara. Max enters, seeing her drowning Aidan instead, and forces her to take her son to the hospital. Based on Aidan’s bruises, psychiatrist Emma Temple suspects child abuse on Rachel’s part, who admits she had postpartum depression, and sends Rachel away. Looking for answers, Rachel returns to the Morgan ranch on Moesko Island, finding evidence of Samara’s biological mother Evelyn, who tried to drown her as an infant. Rachel visits Evelyn in a psychiatric hospital, who advises her to “listen to her baby”.
In the hospital, Samara takes control of Aidan’s body and telepathically forces Dr. Temple to commit suicide before returning to Max’s house. Max arrives, suspects foul play, and tries to secretly take photos of Aidan. Rachel arrives, discovering an affectionate Aidan waiting for her, but acting suspiciously out-of-character (among other things, addressing her as "Mommy", something he almost never did before). She steps out, finding Max’s corpse in his pickup truck. Rachel falls asleep, dreaming of Aidan, who tells her that she will have to exorcise Samara. Upon awakening, Rachel drugs Samara with sleeping pills and places her in the bath to temporarily drown Aidan in order to exorcise her. Samara is removed, but appears in the television. Rachel allows herself to be dragged into Samara’s monochromatic world.
Finding herself in the bottom of the well Samara died in, Rachel discovers the lid is partially open. She scales the well, pursued by Samara. Rachel escapes the well, sealing Samara inside. Wandering through the woods, she comes to the cliff where Samara’s adoptive mother Anna committed suicide. Hearing Aidan’s voice, Rachel throws herself off the cliff into the sea, awakening back in the real world, and reunites with Aidan, who calls her "Mommy" for a change. She asks him to call her Rachel, at least for now. Aidan understands and agrees.
- Naomi Watts as Rachel Keller
- David Dorfman as Aidan Keller
- Simon Baker as Max Rourke
- Elizabeth Perkins as Dr. Emma Temple
- Gary Cole as Martin Savide
- Sissy Spacek as Evelyn
- Ryan Merriman as Jake Pierce
- Emily VanCamp as Emily
- Kelly Overton as Betsy
- James Lesure as Doctor
- Kelly Stables as Samara Morgan
- Daveigh Chase as Samara Morgan (archive footage)
- Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Young Evelyn
- Justin Allen as the uncredited voice of Eddie (a character from the short film Rings)
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 20%, based on 183 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus states: "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.
- The Ring Two - Box Office Data, DVD Sales, Movie News, Cast Information - The Numbers. The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved on 2013-09-24.
- The Ring Two. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2012-11-06.
- The Ring Two Reviews, Ratings, Credits. Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved on 2012-11-06.
- "The Ring Two Movie Review & Film Summary (2005)", Chicago Sun-Times, 2005-03-17.
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