A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Ring Two is extremely scary, and there's near-constant peril for all the major characters. Younger and horror-adverse audiences will be frightened by many scenes and images, including the attempted murder of young children and the suicides of parents. There are deer attacks, attempted drownings, chase scenes, a spooky basement, and the non-explicit but horrific off-screen deaths of characters. There is a very graphic "suicide" and references to madness. A character swears in a very memorable and scary scene.
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What's the story?
In THE RING TWO, single-mom and journalist Rachel (Naomi Watts) has packed up son, Aidan (David Dorfman), and the city apartment in favor of a new start away from the killer-video-tapes of Seattle. No sooner can Rachel say "we are safe now," then she hears about a local teen who has died from terror in front of his television. Rachel destroys the new tape only to find that deadly little tape-ghost, Samara, has designs on taking over Aidan. The chase is on: Rachel must find out how to get Samara out of their lives for good, seeking help from the young ghost's biological mother (Sissy Spacek). Realizing she will have to take care of business herself, Rachel dives into a series of watery endings that come together in a muddy puddle, ultimately demonstrating that maternal love wins over evil. Or something to that effect.
Is it any good?
In addition to the many visual and character references to The Ring, those who have seen the original will notice that the sequel, while scarier, lacks the first's novelty and many of its strengths. Here, Samara is free from the rules of the first movie. She pops out of the video and into their lives without the requisite seven-day waiting period and shows no intention of leaving.
Director Hideo Nakata, who was the mastermind behind the Ring's inspiration (Japanese blockbuster Ringu and its sequel), excels at atmospherics but is lazy with plot. While spookier than the first, the bare bones of The Ring Two read like a rehashed Lifetime channel drama. If you're willing to jump over the plot's many weak bits, then this psychological thriller is a good-looking spook-fest and a should-see for fans of the original. For those looking for a tight, tense stand-alone horror movie, they might want to peek into another dark corner.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Ring Two and the consequences of our actions. At the end of The Ring, Rachel made a choice, and this sequel represents the outcome of her choice. What else could she have done?
What are the teenagers in the beginning of the movie choosing to do in a similar situation? What would you do differently?
How does this movie compare to the original? How does it compare to other horror movies?