Friday, March 12, 2010

Quintology IV: Ringu 2

Let's close up the set with the movie that is the actual and official closing to the film series.  So much for that third book, huh?  As I mentioned yesterday, massive disinterest in Rasen led to this film being made by the people behind Ringu.  Sounds like a win-win situation, right?  I mean, why not get the guys who made the breakaway hit and not the guys behind the flop.  What does this movie add to the mix though?  Do they stick to the books' story or try something new?  Find out in my final review, that of...
The film begins with the investigation into the teacher's death.  We are introduced to the same woman as the girlfriend, but do get the 'mouth agape' shot.  That said, the woman's appearance here is odd, since she was not in Ringu, but was in Rasen.  Is that the closest you guys will come to acknowledging the film?  On the plus side, the actor who plays the teacher gets a third paycheck out of this.  You go, guy!  Back in the story, we get the girlfriend becomes our protagonist and she begins to investigate the case.  Her first taste of terror comes when she gets to the reporter's dad's house and finds his corpse.  Instead of just rehashing the story, a good chunk of it is related to a plot point that did not get much attention before.  We get our heroine looking into the girl who found Ringu's original victim/our former heroine's niece.  After the traumatic experience of seeing her freaky-dead friend, she got herself in a mental hospital.  The day our heroine goes to see her, she is being taken past the main room with a sheet blocking her view of the television.  However, her mere presence causes the screen to show the well from the video and freak everyone out.  She is finally taken away and order is restored, but this is proof enough to the woman that something is up!
As she investigates, she finds out even more freaky facts and keeps looking for the reporter.  Rather abruptly, she spots the woman's son in a mini-mart and is led to the woman.  She explains that she had to show the tape to her father in order to save her son (a carry-over from Rasen, but it actually happened here).  The woman is brought in by the authorities after being sold out by our heroine, however.  At the hospital, some scientists try to study the son, but he runs to his mother.  When they follow him, he activates his 'Carrie-powers' and chokes them.  This all relates to a sub-plot involving a scientist trying to channel spiritual energy through a human being- in this case, the girl from before.  Outside, the mother has a freak attack by the evil power and wanders into the road.  Alas poor lady, I knew you...sort of well.  By the way, thanks for the lingering shot of the blood flowing towards the kid- real classy.  The experiment takes place with the girl, but ends when our heroine is too concerned for the girl's safety to let it continue.  Of course, there are zero repercussions for her smashing up equipment...
Eventually, the woman takes the child to the home of the dead girl and tries to resolve the situation.  When they get there, they are visited by the vision of the evil girl's mother and the girl herself.  On the plus side, this recreates scenes from the video.  On the negative side, it's completely weird and random.  The scientist from earlier arrives as well and sets up an experiment to use the boy as a channeling stone.  He needs a bigger source to conduct the energy into: an industrial-sized swimming pool.  The kid is hooked up to a machine right out of The Exorcist 2 and the woman is there to cause an emotional reaction in him.  Somehow, channeling the spirit of an evil killer turns out badly for the scientist (he is hypnotized into walking into the pool), the nurse (she falls in after the machines do) and the real father of the evil girl (he drowns himself).  Our hero and the boy wake up in the well...or a vision of it and are visited by the teacher.  You've got to earn your needlessly-padded out part, mister!  After an odd monologue, he makes a rope appear for them to climb out with, but the evil girl shows up as well.  Since the kid is dead weight, the lady climbs slower than a stone and the girl catches up to them...only to do nothing and drop back in.  The kid and lady wake up at the pool full of dead bodies and go home.  The End?
I won't lie- this movie is weird.  The whole thing is about continuing the idea of the tape, but they pretty much ignore the actual tape.  It morphs into the tale of a child channeling the spirit of a girl who was dumped in a well.  Oh yeah, fun fact: they say in the intro that the woman survived in the well for 30 years!  Yeah, that makes sense...NO, IT DOESN'T!  Aside from that bit of ridiculousness, the movie is decent and features more weird, craziness than Ringu does.  For all the hype that Ringu has, it's mostly a mystery film designed to set-up to one crazy scene.  It's sort of like being an Argento fan after Suspiria and Opera & seeing his early films.  To like the film, you have to be able to deal with the disparities between this movie and Rasen.  Both films share 90% of the same cast playing the same characters.  Can you imagine if there was another Exorcist sequel that turned Pazuzu into a creature that just gave you a version of Smallpox & you had to just pretend it didn't exist?  This whole thing is confusing and this doesn't help the movie series as a whole.  That said, this is a superior film in most ways to Rasen and extends the mythos in a decent way.
Next up, we tackle 600 posts at Mondo Bizarro!  How do I do it?  With a version of a 700 year-old story...with cardboard cutouts.  Stay tuned...

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