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Too much of the predictable

When `Ring' first released in 2002, it turned out to be a quite a hit, given its fresh approach to horror. It was based on Japanese director's Hideo Nakata's `Ringu,' which is known to have relied more on story and character than special effects and gore.

Though the producers have imported the original Japanese director for this sequel, `Ring 2' is ridden with predictable scares (if you've seen the original), gimmicks quite irrelevant to the plot (unleashed at the audience with the "It-was-just-a-nightmare" licence), the oldest horror tricks (Name one movie where a corpse does not suddenly come alive to catch hold of the unsuspecting victim) and of course, the new found fascination of the horror genre to use spooky looking kids and have them whisper their "I-see-dead-people" lines.

The sequel moves away from the original premise of people dying within seven days of watching an abstract video.

No phone calls with recorded messages to notify victims about their impending death.

Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) move to Astoria, Oregon, from Seattle, hoping to leave their past behind. But Samara, the dead girl in the well from the first part, probably equipped with state-of-the-art GPRS systems, traces them to take over Aidan's body, in her quest for motherly love. Like in the first part, Rachel investigates more into Samara's past to find out what she wants.

To the director Nakata's credit, he uses some of the most peaceful metaphors to introduce the scare quotient — water, deer (though the reason for them to attack a car provides adequate scope for an entire series on National Geographic) and children — to make it all the more eerie.

But the overall plot and the fatigue factor of having watched Rachel-and-Aidan-getting-spooked-out-by-a-scary-looking Samara-routine, does get to you.

The imagery once again is replete with all possible circular symbols to reinforce the film's title (like the well, the moon, the fountain) perhaps going a little overboard in some places.

Nothing new, but Ring 2 is still definitely a cut above Hollywood's regular slasher teen flicks!

SUDHISH KAMATH

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