I’m Not Your Fucking Mommy
“Alright people, we have a good concept and a good idea, let’s throw lots of money at it.” “But what about the story?” “WHO CARES?! You’re fired!” The next movie in my October Horror-thon started like this. Well that’s probably not true, but it’s what I imagine. This movie is the sequel to the Ring, called cleverly the Ring Two, starring Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Daveigh Chase, and Simon Baker, with small appearances by Gary Cole, Sissy Spacek, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Let’s dive into this well!
Right here I spoil the end of The Ring. At the end of that, we find that Samara’s (Daveigh Chase’s) adopted mother suffocated her and pushed her into a well where she stayed for 7 days before dying and becoming an evil, hateful spirit. And a VHS tape. To try to save the life of her and her son, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) opens the well to free Samara, only to have her son Aidan (David Dorfman) tell her that doing so freed her of her prison and she was now able to kill more freely. Rachel figures out that she lived because she made a copy of the tape and showed it to someone else, so they do that with reckless disregard for the poor fuck they show their tape to. 6 months after the first movie, a very special episode of Dawson’s Creek starts in Seattle and we spend about 10 minutes watching 2 teens flirt. But, with an ulterior motive beyond getting some vagina. This boy is trying to save his life and talk a girl into watching a tape, even though she seems ready to go (if you know what I’m saying). Turns out he’s watched the cursed tape and needs to show it to someone else to save his life. Unfortunately, the girl doesn’t watch and he gets killed. Coincidentally, Rachel and Aidan have moved to Seattle and Rachel is now working for Max Rourke (Simon Baker) at a local newspaper. She hears about this death and investigates, catching a vision of Samara saying “I found you.” So now Rachel must REinvestigate Samara to find out how to stop her from taking over the body of her son. To do so, she finds Samara’s birth mother, Evelyn (Mary Elizabeth Winstead when in flashback, Sissy Spacek now). Evelyn tells Rachel that the only way to stop Samara is to kill Aidan, which I’m cool with ’cause that boy is creepy.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. The Ring Two takes all the suspense and creepiness out of the original and turns it into a very typical ghost movie, complete with possessions, poltergeist activity, and full body apparitions. They completely forget about the tape that made the movie famous in the first 20 minutes of the movie, and then they jump back into a rehashed treasure finding movie and bad ghost movie. The first movie seemed as if it went to good writing and suspense because they had a low budget, but when it made bank, they threw a lot of money at the sequel and boosted the special effects at the expense of the suspense. They lost the blue tint to the first movie and replaced it with water raising out of a bathtub and turning into Samara. Instead of Gore Verbinski, they went with a fan service by attaching director of Ring (the Japanese basis for The Ring), Hideo Nakata. But the movie loses a quality of visuals that is either because of him or the director of photography. The movie looks grainy in parts like an early episode of Scrubs, and others just have odd camera angles. This could also just be a bad DVD transfer, I suppose, but I like blaming people. And the ending, where Rachel ties up the problem in a nice little bow by closing the top of the well, they actually have the nerve to give her a classic action/slasher line to yell at the monster. Samara had been inhabiting Aidan and calling Rachel mommy (even though Aidan calls her Rachel) and Samara was climbing up the side of the well to stop Rachel from closing it and she called out to Rachel with “Mommy!” And Rachel comes back with “I’m not your fucking mommy!” Fer reals? That’s just the nail in the coffin for me. I liken that line to lines like “Smile you son of a bitch” from Jaws or “Get the Hell off my plane” from Air Force One. They work in those movies, and would work in a typical cliche ghost movie, but we go in there expecting suspense like the first and get this.
Not all is bad here. Naomi Watts still turns on the acting. I have a lot of respect for her as an actress, but it’s nice to see that she tries hard at every roll and not just the good ones. One of the big performance problems of this movie was that Aidan got a lot more screen time in this one and didn’t really seem up to the task. He was still creepy for most of it, but it was just overexposure. And when Samara took over, he got REALLY creepy, no longer the morose kid that sees things but now a creepy, overly loving kid that smiles all the time. You ain’t cute, you’re creepy. Stick with what works for you. The creepy, corpse walking thing that Samara does in this one is pretty damn creepy though, so kudos to that person. I also felt myself wishing that Sissy Spacek had been the adopted mother and got to be in the good Ring movie, and then you could put the person I’ve never seen in a movie again in the crappy one.
So that’s that. They ruined a good horror movie by taking all the art and suspense out of it. Hopefully they won’t do it again. I give this movie a “Cy…onara!” out of “I’ll be back!” …No seriously, they are actually bringing it back. And it’s gonna be The Ring 3D. I hate it already.
And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others. It may help me get better.