Just in case you were under the impression it was only Hollywood that produced sequel after sequel to blockbuster successes Japan made four films in the Ringu Franchise.
Based upon a popular novel, Ringu, and its American re-make The Ring dealt with a ghost from a well, a video tape that in view caused your death in seven days, and the single mother reporter that was the story’s protagonist. (Though interestingly the film differs from the novel so much that the main character switched genders.)
In Ringu the single mother has worked out to survive the curse she and her son, who accidently watched the tape, must make a copy and show it to someone else. Mom has already unwittingly done this and her mathematician boyfriend’s death provided the clues to working out the curse. Now to save her son she has had him duplicate the tape and shown it to here father.
Ringu 2 picks up the story where Ringu left off, but now our protagonist is the mathematician’s female assistant who starts down the plot trying to understand what has happened to her mentor. The police get involved, after all they have a number of unexplained deaths on their hands, as does a doctor treating a girl who survived seeing the ghost of Sadako but is now in a mental ward.
Built on mood, atmosphere, and mystery, Ringu 2 continues the stylistic horror that at the start of the century became known as J-Horror. Not all of the Japanese horror films imported under their sudden popularity deserved to be held up as an example of their industry’s superior craftsmanship but quite a few were several levels above the derivative slasher fare that so many in Hollywood pushed into our theaters.
The franchise continues beyond this sequel, producing an inconsistent and unrequired prequel, which the fandom rejected, and then a second revisionary prequel before finally sputtering out.
Ringu 2 is a film worth watching. Moody, creepy, and with explorations of themes raised in the Ringu it is that rare beast, a worthy sequel.