Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reasons Not To Have Kids #8: The Ring 2

And now the review you all been waiting for (I think), fellow Mass Invader Maria decides to see what Samara has been up to in the much unneeded sequel "The Ring 2".

You remember the first Ring movie. There's a freaky video tape and when you watch it you have 7 days until Samara pops out of the TV and scares you to death. Rachel, played by Naomi Watts, tried to solve Samara's mystery but it turned out that Samara didn't want help she just wanted to scare as many people as she could and she only spared your life if you showed her video to someone else.

So that's what's happening in the beginning of The Ring Two. Some guy is coming to the end of his seven days so he tricks a girl he knows from school into watching the video. He goes into the other room while she's watching it and just when he thinks he's safe it turns out she had her eyes covered while the video was playing! So Samara comes out of the well on the TV and, well, that's the end of this guy! Remeber ladies, if some guy asks you out on a date and then tries to make you watch a scary video get the Hell out of there!

Rachel and her son Aidan have moved from Seattle to Astoria Oregon to get away from the huslte and bustle. Rachel works for the local newspaper and Aidan likes photography. I should mention right here, since it plays throughout the movie, that the music is almost exactly the same as the music from Suspiria. So it reminds you that you could be watching Suspiria. Rachel asks Aidan why he doesn't call her "Mom or Ma or Mother" but he says, "Rachel is more your personality!" They have a nice dinner of chicken pot pie that Rachel cooked and "Moving here is working out great!" And they're happy. That's good, but I don't think it'll last very long.

Everyone at the newspaper is excited because the police found a dead body. You see a big news day in this town is when a cat gets stuck up a tree. I live in a small town and I never hear about cats in trees so this town must be REALLY small. In fact I've never heard of a cat gettting so stuck in a tree that the fire department had to come and rescue it. I wonder how often that really happens? Oh yeah the movie... Anyway, Rachel heads down to check out the body and of course when she sneaks into the ambulance and unzips the body bag his face is horrible mangled in a scared to death sorta way. And when she goes to zip the body bag back up Samara comes flying out of if it with one of those loud noise, things jumping out at you "scares," grabs Rachel and yells, "I found you!" Rachel scrambles back to her car and tries to figure out what she did wrong that makes Samara keep bothering her. "I only made one copy!" she says to herself. Well Rachel apparently I know your life better than you because you made two copies. So that can't be the problem. When all the police have left the house Rachel sneaks inside and takes the scary tape from the VCR and destroys it. Problem solved! Movie over!

Well not so fast. It seems that Samara has designs on Rachel's son Aidan. He has dreams where she pops out of the TV and tries to grab him. He wakes up screaming and Rachel tries to get him to tell her what his nightmare was about but he says he doesn't remember. So then they head out to a church flea market. Rachel casually checks the booths for more copies of the tape to destroy while Aidan takes more pictures. Aidan is still cold and feeling sick but it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. Watching the kids bob for apples makes Aidan feel nauseuos, and truth is it make me nauseous too, so he heads into the church bathroom. Everytime he tries to use the toilet it sprays dirty water at him and when he tries to wash his hands the faucets won't work. This looks like a plumbing related ghost! Better call the Ghost Hunters! Aidan turns around and looks in the mirror and with another loud noise there's Samara looking at him! Aidan is pretty cool about it and starts taking her picture. Meanwhile Rachel is searching frantically for him. When she finally finds him he tells her that's he's cold and he wants to leave.

As they're driving back Rachel bugs him enough to admit that Samara was in his nightmare. And out of the woods comes a CG deer! Watch out! They barely miss hitting the deer and it just stands there looking at Aidan through the window for the longest and creepiest amount of time. The deer won't get out of the way and they can't get around it. Aidan keeps yelling, "Don't stop! Don't stop!" The deer heads by their car and into the woods and just as she about to go the deer comes flying out of the woods antlers first and slams into the driver's side window. Then another deer crashes through the passenger side window. Rachel finally steps on the gas and away they go down the street and just when they think they are safe another deer comes running top speed straight at the car. it breaks the windshield and flies over top of it. The car stops and about 1000 more CG deer are standing in the road looking at them. They don't attack but in a scene stolen directly from The Birds they manage to slowly sneak away from the deer.

Back home Aidan's temperature is down to 94 degrees. She calls the doctor and he tells her he needs to be warmed up so Rachel tries to make him tea or give him a warm bath but the electricty in the house starts going crazy and they drive away. They end up at the newspapers owners home. He's played by Simon Baker of "The Mentalist" fame. Rachel leaves him there to take a hot bath while she goes back to the house to get some things. Simon is talking on the phone outside of the bathroom while Aidan is inside taking a bath. Suddenly the bathroom door closes. Simon doesn't notice this at first but soon water starts leaking out from under the door. Of course the door is locked at Aidan won't open it. Rachel rushes in and starts banging on the door and yelling as well. Simon goes to find something to break the door with. Finally the door opens by itself and we see Aidan curled into a ball in the bathtub completely dry with all the water around him coming from the inside the tub flowing up to the ceiling and pooling there. (Much like it did in John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness.) Rachel looks into the bathtub and Aidan had Samara's arms wrapped around and her hands are holding on to his back. But we don't see the rest of Samara. Rachel shakes Aidan awake and all the water falls down from the ceiling and goes all over. The bathtub is full again and Aidan is under the water. Rachel tries to pull him out but it turns out Samara is in there instead. She jumps out at Rachel and yells, "Mommy!" Rachel pushes her back under the water. And Simon comes back just in time to see what looks like Rachel trying to drown her son.

They take Aidan to the hospital and the doctor ask Rachel all sorts of questions like, "Was he left outside overnight?" and "How'd he get the bruises on his back?" Rachel doesn't tell them anything and it just makes her seem crazier. they send in a shrink to talk to Rachel. She decides that Rachel can't see Aidan anymore and takes he to another room in the hospital. The shrink leaves the room to get some coffee and when she comes back Rachel has climbed out the window. The shrink even has a "not again" look on her face. Maybe she should learn to lock people in a different room!

So Rachel heads back to Samara's house to fish around. Fortunately there's a real estate agent there who doesn't seem to have a problem with her wandering around in the basement alone. The basement is full of antlers which I guess explains all the CG deer. Well it's supposed to anyway. "Samara has looks of antler in her basement! That's a good enough reason!" Rachel walks around the basement like she knows something is gonna fly out at her with a loud noise. I'm expecting it to be a cat this time.But nothing does fly about and she finds a book from Samara birth mother that leads her to a woman's shelter.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Aidan wakes up. Aidan is looking paler than ever and his temperature is down to 90 degrees. The shrink comes in and starts asking him how he's feeling but Aidan starts asking, "Where's my mommy?" You and I know this is a bad sign because Aidan doesn't call Rachel "mommy." So it appears Aidan and Samara have merged into a new super creepy kid I shall now refer to as "Samaidan." Samaidan desperately wants to go home and see his "Mommy" but the doctor says he isn't well and has to stay in the hospital. Samaidan doesn't like this answer and uses his newly acquired mind-control powers to make the shrink stab a giant syringe into her neck, killing herself pretty quickly. Samaidan then happily escapes the hospital and starts walking home.

Rachel goes to the women's shelter and finds out that Samara's birth mother came there 8th months pregnant and gave birth to her there. She had postpartum depression and tried to drown the baby in the fountain because the baby had "told her to." Then the baby was taken away, the mother sent to the mental hospital and the Morgan's adopted Samara. What I don't get is that in the first movie Rachel found a birth certificate saying that Anna Morgan was Samara's mother. Now she's been adopted and someone else is the mother? The same person wrote both movies. Did he just forget what he wrote? Hasn't he seen the first Ring movie? Or does he just not care? That's probably it. Anyway Rachel tracks down Samara's real mother in the mental hospital. She's played by Sissy Spacek. Sissy Spacek has the same nose as Michael Jackson. And that's all I see as I watch this. Rachel wants to know how to help her son but Sissy basically says "Listen to the voices" and then wiggles her finger across her lips.

Samaidan makes it back home and is watching cartoons while waiting for "Mommy" to come back. Simon comes in and tells him that he should probably be at the hospital. He also tries to take his picture to see if Samara is in it, but Samaidan doesn't like having his picture taken. So Simon not so sneakily tries to take his picture with the timer. Yeah, you're in trouble now! So much for your handsome face! Rachel makes it home and Samaidan runs up to her and hugs her. "Mommy, Mommy you're hoooome!" Rachel notices Simon's coat is there and goes out to find Simon in his truck with his face all grotesque. She comes back in the house pretending nothing's wrong and Samaidan is still sitting there with his cartoons. Rachel has a good cry in her room because Simon Baker was pretty cute. Oh, I mean, because her son is possessed by an evil ghost. Rachel falls alseep and in her dream Aidan tells her the only way to get Samara out of him is to drown him. You know, one of those kill the patient to cure the disease sorta things. She's says she can't do that. And he says she has to. She wakes up and makes Samaidan a peanut butter and jelly and sleeping pill sandwich. My favorite! Samaidan wants to know what's wrong with Rachel as she hands him the sandwich. "You look sad." "Oh I'm just tired." "Now you have me to protect you!" he says with a smile. The one thing Rachel needs protection from is scary video tapes and the ghosts that made them. So she's out of luck it seems.

Samaidan falls asleep and Rachel puts him in the full bathtub. As she lowers him in he wakes up, "Rachel what are you doing?! It's me!" She pushes him down as he struggle to get out of the water but he can't get away. As she holds him down it looks like we need to adjust the tracking on the rest of the bathroom. It gets all staticy in the background. She holds him down for about 3 seconds and the bathtub fills with long black hair. Then a person shaped bubble of water with a long black wig on rises out of the water. It looks at Rachel then says, "Mommy" and disappears. Rachel looks into the tub. There is no water left but Aidan is still inside and he's unconscious. She pulls him out of the tub and tells him to breathe. How about you try CPR or patting him on the back or calling 911 or holding him upside down? All of these things would help better than just telling him to breathe. Luckily Aidan follows her advice and breathes. I can't help but think if Aidan bathed more often none of this would have happened.

Oh crap there's more movie. So Rachel and Aidan go back into the living room and the TV is on with Samara's well on the screen. I think Samara is pissed off now. She was trying to be nice but she's had it. She's staying Aidan's body whether you like it or not. Rachel realizes that all Samara wants a mother and she lets Samara take her into the TV. Rachel ends up at the bottom on the well. She looks up and sees that the well is open and she's not very far down and the inside of the well is lined with stone, so if she's determined enough she could climb her way out. This makes it a different well than in the first movie because the walls of that well were pretty smooth. So Rachel starts climbing up the side pretty slowly but she's not having much trouble. Samara isn't having any of that escaping so she's pops out of the water and starts climbing up the walls as well. She's significantly faster than Rachel but only manages to catch her just as Rachel hits the top. Rachel kicks Samara enough that she falls all the way back down to the bottom. Rachel closes the well on her and it looks like we are finish with our little Samara problem. I hope.

So Rachel is stuck in TV land. And her only way out is to jump off the same cliff that Samara's (I guess adopted now) mother did. She lands on the floor in the living room. Aidan wants to know what happened. "It's over. She's not coming back." "How do you know, Rachel" "I know." You know?! But how!? How can we be sure? Is there any sort of explanation? You just know? Aidan is a more accepting of the answer than I am. They hug and Rachel glaces at their reflection in the TV and movie takes us out of the living room, out of the house and onto the street and we see the ring flash on our screen one last time before the movie, thankfully, ends.

This movie is actually a lot better than most unnecessary horror movie sequels. But still it was about 45 minutes too long and the whole part with the deer didn't have anything to do with the rest of the movie. And I couldn't figure out whether they were saying that Samara herself was possessed by a demon or if Samara was the demon. And do you think that if someone had watched the tape while Samara was in Aidan that they would have been fine because she was preoccupied or can she jump out of TVs on one side of town while possessing little boys on the other side. Oh well. Simon Baker was in the movie and he's pretty good looking, well WAS pretty good looking.

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