'The Ring 2' fails to scare, brings unintended laughs instead

However, as most horror films turn out, once you’ve actually seen them, they ultimately fail to meet all expectations of a quality scary movie; in other words, the previews for horror films are usually better than the actual movie because it’s easier to startle an audience for a few minutes than for an entire hour and a half. The best horror films are rare and completely unpredictable and lack unrealistic, cheesy characters and plot. Unfortunately, “The Ring 2” falls under the former category, but it is not a complete waste of time. But spending over five dollars on a movie ticket is a complete waste of money. I recommend waiting until it comes out on video.

“The Ring 2” takes place six months after the original movie. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) have escaped the videotape and its bizarre ability to ensure death one week after watching it, and have moved from Seattle to a sleepy town on the coast of Oregon. The opening scene of this movie is almost a carbon copy of the original. Two high school kids are hanging out, and one mysteriously dies from having watched the tape exactly one week prior. Samara, the evil ghost child who is the cause of all of the deaths in both movies, finds Rachel and Aidan and wants revenge. Samara possesses Aidan, who becomes bruised from the struggles and appears to be hypothermic; however, his temperature is only 90 degrees because of the dead Samara’s recent possession. Rachel is not only accused of child abuse, but must go “full circle” in order to get rid of Samara and get Aidan back. Rachel’s “full circle” venture is the heart of the plot and even includes an encounter with Samara inside the tape and another with Samara’s mother at a mental institution.

Perhaps the most crucial elements of a successful horror movie are good acting and special effects. The acting here is unconvincing, and most of the acting techniques and special effects seem to come from other, more successful, horror or fantasy movies. For example, Dorfman’s characterization of Aidan resembles the brilliant and extremely creepy performance of Haley Joel Osment as the child who sees dead people in “The Sixth Sense.” Osment’s haunting voice in his famous line, “I see dead people,” is definitely echoed in Dorfman’s voice when he asks his mother to drown him. In fact, the only chance the actors in “The Ring 2” have of receiving more work in the acting industry will be to wait until the casting of “The Ring 3.”

As for the special effects, the only truly impressive scene occurs when Samara appears to morph into a kind of frog with unattached limbs that rotate 180 degrees as she quickly climbs up a well after Rachel with the ease of Spider-Man and the ferocity of a pissed-off cat. In this scene Samara is very similar to one of the unearthly creatures in “The Lord of the Rings” that scale jagged rocks without any trouble or hesitation. However, instead of having the intended effect of scaring the audience, most people either looked very confused or said out loud, “What the … ?”

The best indicator that this was an unsuccessful horror movie is not just my reaction to the film, but the reaction I noticed from the entire crowd at the theater. Everyone chuckled when they predicted something scary was about to happen, and some people even roared with laughter during the extremely dramatic scenes that attempted to be surprising but were at best shocking or merely grotesque. There were only occasional gasps-and they were mostly mine (sadly, I’m one of the biggest ninnies about scary movies).