aka RINGU 2
Movie Review by EDF
Starring: Daisuke Ban, KyOko Fukada, Kenjiroh Ishimaru
Director: Hideo Nakata
The follow-up movie to the original, RING 2 continues only hours on from the events of the last movie. For those that missed RING, a videotape was doing the rounds and anyone who viewed it would receive a phone call from a woman telling the hapless victim that they would die in exactly one week. After dragging her body out from a well, an autopsy is performed on the body of Sadako, the woman responsible for the cursed videotape. Even though she had been trapped in the well, trying to scrape up the side of the well to freedom, the autopsy mysteriously reveals that she only recently died. It is decided to reconstruct Sadako’s face using her skeleton.
Reintroducing a minor character, Takano Mai (Miki Nakatani) the assistant to the now recently deceased Prof. Takayama Ryuji’s, Takano investigates the disappearance of Ryuji’s ex-wife, Asakawa and her son. With a journalist, Okazaki, in tow they go to Asakawa’s apartment. While there they find a burnt videotape in the bath and Takano has a psychic vision of Asakawa asking for her father’s forgiveness but she had to save her son Yoichi. They then receive news that Asakawa’s father has died. The only piece of evidence the police find is a note with the message; “Reiko, I got rid of the video. There’s nothing to worry about now.”
They check out young Yoichi’s school and while waiting outside for Okazaki to arrive back from talking to the headmaster, Takano has a vision of Yoichi standing across the street, bathed in white light. Yoichi is saying something but the vision disappears as soon as Takano starts crossing the street. It also turns out that Yoichi has not been to school for at least ten days.
What follows next is a remake of Asakawa’s original investigation, which includes Okazaki interviewing students that might have the videotape. Discovering that there was an eyewitness to the death of one of the victims of the cursed videotape, they go to a mental hospital to seek out Kurahashi Masami. As Kurahashi is in no fit state to speak to anybody, Takano and Okazaki speak to her doctor instead. The doctor explains that while patients are in their care, they constantly take photographs of them, as over a period of time, their own families won’t even recognise them. With Kurahashi’s photo, part of her face is constantly obscured by what the doctor calls “spirit photography”. On closer inspection the word ‘Sada’ is visible.
Leaving the doctor’s office by herself, Asakawa comes across Kurahashi escorted by a nurse, who wheels a cover screen for Kurahashi so that she cannot see the TV when they walk past it. This time round she stops, walks round the screen and just as things are looking normal on the TV, there is an interference and the image of Sadako climbing out of the well sets all the patients off in a frenzy. Reaching out, saying ‘help me’, Takano holds Kurahashi’s hand and is taken back in time to when Kurahashi spotted Sadako about to kill her friend. As the doctors and nurses take the patients away, Takano realises that Yoichi lips were also forming the words “help me”.
The movie takes an interesting turn when Takano finds both Asakawa and Yoichi and when the doctor starts experimenting on Kurahashi and the strange force living within her. For those hoping to experience more of the same might be slightly disappointed. While the movie concentrates on the impact the videotape has on people, whenever it turns creepy, the effect is as equally frightening and disturbing as the first. The great thing is that, just like the first movie, it does not rely too much on modern day movie CGI to make you jump. RING 2 uses powerful imagery that will stay in the mind long after the movie is over. Excuse me while I answer the phone!