THE RING TWO "Yeah, those glands are definitely swollen."
The Ring Two
dir. Nakata
Opens Fri Mar 18
Various Theaters

So the big surprise of The Ring Two is already spoiled by that headline. Don't worry--it's not a plot spoiler, it's just that now you know what the coolest part of the movie is. Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her creepy-ass son, Aidan (David Dorfman) are driving in the woods, when--BAM!--their car's attacked! By deer! It's not scary, because they're CG deer. And it's not intense, because… c'mon! They're fucking deer, man! They're the least scary animals on the planet!

I guess I should talk about the plot and the other aspects of The Ring Two, but seriously--if you ain't hooked by the hilarious sight of bunch of deer beating down a Volkswagen Jetta, then you probably won't dig the rest of the film. Picking up where The Ring left off, Two has Rachel and Aidan moving to Astoria, Oregon, in an attempt to hide from the haunted videotape that cursed whomever watched it in the first film. But the tape's ghost, Samara (Daveigh Chase and Kelly Stables), isn't giving up that easily… so it's not long before Rachel hears about two Astoria teens who've had a less-than-cheery viewing of said tape. (Yeah, right--who under the age of 50 hasn't given up VHS for DVD?)

And so the terror begins--or, more accurately, it doesn't. There's not much more that screenwriter Ehren Kruger can do with The Ring's concept, so he settles for ripping off The Exorcist and having the evil Samara possess Aidan. Director Hideo Nakata--who directed Ringu, the Japanese horror film upon which The Ring was based--forms a few inventive sequences around the almost-interesting Samara/Aidan character; unfortunately, none of them are scary.

And that's about it--plot twists are given away by foreshadowing that's about as subtle as the film's thudding, melodramatic score, and horror veterans are treated to such daring variations on the genre as… well, none, really. (Instead of the clichéd horror movie line "I know this sounds crazy," Two offers Watts doing her best to imbue meaning into "I know this sounds completely crazy.")

So, in conclusion: I really shouldn't recommend The Ring Two, because it's neither good nor scary. That said, it does have a bunch of CG deer attacking a Volkswagen Jetta--and you can bet your sweet ass you aren't going to see that in Million Dollar Baby or Hotel Rwanda. So c'mon! Get your ass to The Ring Two! It has deer! Attacking!