Genre: Supernatural Techno-babble Horror
review in one breath
First, it must be admitted that one will have absolutely no idea what is going on in Ringu 2 without first seeing Ringu. Basics such as character identity and Sadako's history fully assume familiarity with the original story.
Ringu 2 (1999)
Ring: The Final Chapter (1999)
Ringu 0 (2000)
Our story starts one week following the conclusion of Ringu, with an autopsy of Sadako (which reveals she was alive down there for 30 years!) and an investigation into the mysterious deaths of Ryuji and Reiko's father, and the sudden disappearance of Reiko and Yoichi. The investigation leads our hardened detective to question Mai, Ryuji's infatuated student of the original story. After hearing of Reiko and Yoichi's disappearance, Mai begins her own hunt for them, eventually locating them light years ahead of the police.
Along the way, Mai is befriended by a news reporter, Okazaki. Together, they visit Masami, a resident of the insane asylum thanks to seeing Sadako kill her first victim in the first movie. Masami has a tremendous phobia of televisions, which proves prudential when she inevitably looks into the TV screen long enough to make Sadako's video appear and cause the entire room of fellow residents to massively freak out. Her shrink thinks the supernatural might be afoot and has been conducting experiments which show that humans can become psychic capacitors which either overload or conduct power to another receiver. His pet theory is that psychic vibrations can be dissipated through water and proudly demonstrates this numerous times using a highly sophisticated experiment consisting of a glass of tap water and a strip of white paper.
To make a long story short, Yoichi begins to demonstrate a threateningly strong psychic ability (eerily reminiscent of Tetsuo in "Akira") which the good doctor cannot help but experiment with after seeing the amazing results of the paradigm-shattering tap water and paper test! Little Yoichi's anger at life in general is getting the better of him and water is the key. Lots of water. By hooking Yoichi up to a *mountain* of gizmos consisting of TVs and an enormous number of extension cords placed ominously close to an indoor swimming pool, the doc hopes to send all the negative vibes for a swim. Little does he know that angry little Yoichi will turn the pool into a portal to hell! Things do not look good for the scientific approach as the doc goes crazy and carries large electrical equipment into the pool which now contains tiny tsunami and ghostly limbs. As Mai and Yoichi flee the chaos, they suddenly find themselves scaling the dark walls of the infamous well, pursued by a spiderman-like Sadako quickly climbing up behind them, face hidden by a clay death mask. (!)
Whereas Ringu relied heavily on the imagination of the viewer, fueled by eery images and sound, Ringu 2 is much more fond of explanation. This movie actually has much less to do with Sadako's video curse than with explaining how this curse takes place. In characteristic quasi-science techno babble, Sadako's ominous power amounts to static electricity arcing from one person to another, while the amount of power absorbed by any given individual can be determined by the amount of water absorbed into a paper strip. (!) Anger, we are told, causes this static to build up in Sadako and Yoichi, and water is the means to be quell it. And yet the ending seems to suggest that resolution is reached by the abatement of Sadako's anger through the death of a relative rather than the molecular assistance of water. So that the audience is not left totally devoid of mysterium, an enigmatic question is posed by Sadako to Mai and Yoichi during a meeting on the well wall at the very end of the tale. "Why are you the only to survive?" This is about the only question not explicitly answered by Ringu 2.
|Science meets the supernatural in an electrifying lap around the pool!||More terrified corpses, one unfortunate incident involving a speeding Mack truck, and one dive into the pool using various electrical devices as swimming aids.||Again, no sexual imagery or reference.||The terrifying saga of Sadako continues, though this time demystified.|