Will the circle be unbroken? Let’s hope not. This poorly conceived sequel to Gore Verbinski’s The Ring ditches that film’s scariest conceit—people die a week after watching . . . an avant-garde video!—for a watery possession plot. Fleeing the gnarliness unleashed in the first movie’s Seattle for small-town life, Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her weird little son (David Dorfman) have to fend off bad plumbing, angry deer, and the unshowered ghost girl who keeps ruining his digital photos. Postpartum depression is invoked several times; if the name of the game is to be the unheimlich maneuvers of the mother-child bond, one wishes Hideo Nakata (director of the Japanese Ringu films) could have nudged the proceedings toward the Rosemary’s Baby–Birth axis. (Indeed, there’s a brief, wordless melody intended to evoke RB.) Sissy Spacek, as the would-be Andrea Yates now in the loony bin, is thankfully obscured by a long wig. The let’s-travel-through-the-TV-screen sequence was better in Fat Albert. Next time we’ll try call-waiting.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 15, 2005