Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Naomi Watts, Simon Baker, David Dorfman, Sissy Spacek
Director: Hideo Nakata
HALLOWEEN had Jamie Lee Curtis progress from a screaming young heroine to a hardened axe wielding veteran as we see in one of the many sequels to that classic. So THE RING happily follows suit with a fully clothed Naomi Watts switching from desperate mum to a daring, vanquisher of evil. Naomi Watts slips back into her role as Rachel Keller the heroine of the American version of the cult Japanese horror classic RINGU aka RING. Also thrown in for good measure is the original director of RINGU and its sequel RINGU 2 aka RING 2 – Hideo Nakata. If you are a big horror fan you are probably wondering why I am comparing Jamie Lee Curtis to Naomi Watts, well I am not really comparing the actresses I am merely pointing out the similar trends in horror movies as we watch the central character progress from innocent to semi – monster themselves.
The film opens with the same two-minute videotape that leads its viewer to a very untimely and grotesque death and sure enough this is where the body count starts. Fast-forward to our heroine Rachel and her very strange son Aidan (David Dorfman) adjusting to a new life far away from the city where they first encountered the evil videotape. News of the death of a teenager grabs Rachel’s attention after she hears that the state of the face of the corpse has baffled authorities. She investigates and discovers that there is a copy of the very same tape that she thought was now a thing of the past. From here on the whole situation goes from normal to disturbing as her son, Aidan starts behaving like a totally different person. Rachel uses her investigative skills to try and get to the bottom of her son’s strange behavior. Ultimately her investigation puts her in an impossible situation as she is forced to put both of their lives in harm’s way to finally destroy the evil that just doesn’t want to let go of them.
Hideo Nakata takes over from Gore Verbinski with this remake of his original film and other than the slightly longer running time it is an intriguing film with solid production values and some genuinely eerie moments. Watch out for the scene with the deer which is especially freaky and also very well done. For fans of THE RING this sequel should not be a disappointment as it has some scary bits and Naomi Watts and David Dorfman reprise their original roles.
Naomi Watts is very believable as a loving mother who is faced with some very hard choices, but David Dorfman steals the show with his performance as his character progressively destabilizes and behaviour become increasingly weird as the evil gets hold of him. I can only wonder how interesting it would have been if the script had allowed for his character to really cross the line between good and evil. Also watch out for some heavyweight support acting from Sissy Spacek in a cameo as a mother.
So it delivers what it sets out to achieve and it should entertain the horror fans. For many of you though, after watching this you might begin to have doubts about the contents of that peanut butter and jelly sandwich that your mum has just lovingly made for you.