Having spawned the Ring franchise in Japan, director Hideo Nakata moved to Hollywood to remake The Ring Two. Expectations were high but this horror film was eventually panned for being "illogical, daft, and dull". In short, it just wasn't very scary and thrill-seeking moviegoers quickly cottoned on. Although it debuted at No 1 in the UK and the US, there was a subsequent plunge in ticket sales.
Around In Circles
At first glance this looks like a generous assortment of extras, but three of the featurettes are actually two-minute TV promos. Imagination In Focus bills Nakata as a master of the genre, but more than that, a booming voice (which you may recognise from 80s action film trailers) announces that he's been, "Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world!" The hype reaches fever pitch in The Haunting Of The Ring Two where Nakata reveals that the production office was flooded during the making of the film - which is really spooky because "water represents evil sprits" (apparently). Star Naomi Watts nervously explains, "There are some weird vibrations going on here," but it's probably just the violins screeching in the background...
Threatening to shed some light on the actual making of the film (but never quite succeeding) is Samara: From Eye To Icon. Again, it runs at barely over two minutes, which is just enough time for special effects wizard Rick Baker to tell us that, "The scariest thing about Samara is not knowing what's under that hair." Indeed the little girl with lanky locks is an image that recurs in Japanese horror movies, but there is no explanation offered for that here.
Although HBO's First Look is an epic 15 minutes, it only offers patchwork of soundbites and snippets of behind-the-scenes footage. Nakata sums up the plot with, "Samara wants a mother," but fails to give a satisfactory answer to the question of why he wanted to remake his own film in the first place. He assures us, however, that "The script was very interesting." Later on, there are a few interesting notes on the use of CGI, particularly in that bizarre deer-charging scene. Still, Watts looks a little dubious when she says, "This is when you really have to tap into your imagination. And trust..."
Two And Fro
Disappointingly, there's nothing even remotely scary in ten minutes of deleted footage - a TV screen buzzing with white noise is as hairy as it gets. Instead we have Aidan (David Dorfman) moodily gazing into the middle-distance and a couple of scenes that attempt to flesh out the relationship between Rachel (Watts) and Max (Simon Baker). Sadly these are half-hearted at best.
Without a doubt, the most compelling feature of the disc is Rings. It's a short film that bridges the gap between the first film and the sequel, directed with chilling immediacy by Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls). However, it's worth noting that this short also appears in The Collector's Edition of The Ring (where it has the added bonus of being coupled with a better main feature). That aside, this DVD edition of The Ring Two is an empty hole of hoopla.