An analysis of the Ring franchise: Third part: Ringu 2 / Ring 2 (1999) - The sequel that saved the franchise - 8/10
After Ring's initial sequel Spiral was met with negative response, the director of the original film Nakata Hideo got back on board and quickly filmed this new sequel Ring 2. The movie is closely connected to the first film as several characters come back here. The protagonist and her son don't die off the screen as in Spiral but have vanished and appear halfway through the movie. Timid student Takano Mai isn't the secret lover of the deceased professor but rather his diligent assistant. She doesn't team up with a suicidal pathologist but rather with an investigative journalist to break the curse.
This alternative sequel has more supernatural elements than the rather scientific Spiral. It deals with telepathy, possession and exorcism and the movie becomes more daring in these regards as time goes by. After a sluggish start, the final third in particular is truly creative, intense and scary as it lives up to the original film's potential. The movie was met with critical acclaim, not only because its supernatural horror elements grasp the essence of the original movie but because they are executed with wit, pace and intensity.
Even though the creative, diversified and experimental Spiral might be the better film in itself, Ring 2 goes back to the strengths of the original film and redeems the new franchise among fans around the world. Without this movie, there wouldn't have been any franchise in the first place and that's why this film is perhaps its most important entry objectively speaking. While the first two thirds are of an above average quality, the final third is a definite highlight and those final thirty minutes are perhaps even the best in the entire franchise. My suggestion would be to watch the original movie first, followed by the experimental Spiral as a stand-alone film and finally the more conventional alternative sequel Ring 2.« An analysis of the Ring franchise: Second part: Rasen / Spiral (1998) - Suicide meets science and the supernatural - 8/10An analysis of the Ring franchise: Fourth part: Ringu 0: Bâsudei / Ring 0: Birthday (2000) - Tragic teenage tale - 8/10 »