2004 Certificate: 15

Synopsis

Japanese horror maestro Hideo Nakata takes the reins of the US remake of his original sequel. Six months after ejecting the deathly videotape - "see the Ring and you die" - once and for all, Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan are hoping for a fresh start... but then nastily familiar things start happending and it appears her waterlogged nemesis Samara is still not ready to leave her alone.

Director

  • Hideo Nakata

Cast

  • Naomi Watts

  • Sissy Spacek

  • Elizabeth Perkins

  • David Dorfman

  • Simon Baker

Review

Six months after ejecting the deathly videotape - "see the Ring and you die" - once and for all, Rachel (Watts) and her son Aidan are hoping for a fresh start.

They've quit their Seattle home and moved to the small coastal community of Astoria, Oregon, where she's landed a job on the local paper.

However, the curse of the ring looks like it may have come around again when a local college kid meets his maker in an eerily familiar manner.

Gore Verbinski's American remake of the Ring was actually a decent stab at the original which cleaned up some irritating irregularities and tightened up the plot.

Despite the presence of Nakata himself, this threatens to slump into tired routine once the original premise of the killer tape is discarded in the first reel.

However, slowly-but-surely, it finds its (wet) feet. Vengeful Samara isn't just back to claim the lives of more spotty TV addicts. No - she wants to inhabit the being of young Aidan (Dorfman) himself.

Rachel is forced to rake up old ground to find out what's happening to her son while, all the while, he is being taken over by her of the dodgy barnet and clammy fingers.

There's no shortage of shocks in a creepy tale which is lent a heightened realism by the conviction of the performances, particularly Watts and Dorfman.

The story unfolds in a heart-lurching manner with the eery images, disturbing plot and finely drawn characters fusing to sear an indelible emotional scar.

The next time some college kid says to you: "I've got the scariest freakin' movie you'll ever see," knock him out.

Tim Evans