Not quite as terrible as its Japanese counterpart; in fact, this mere sequel alone is worth more of my bread and butter than the entire B movie J-horrors, which all Ringu (Japanese "Ring" movies) were, incidentally. It perplexes how many avid movie goers claim to prefer a version so down in the economic budgetary muck that its production values seriously cut in on experience and leave you skeptical thinking it's just a junk film snob trend that automatically prejudges American versus Japanese material. Digressing, despite the maintained cast from the first film which is always desirable, the script pales in comparison, leaving interest and
Aside from the first climax, which I think is this movie's sole weakness and the point most susceptible to aging stupidly, it knocks every feature from Ringu (the original Japanese film) out of the water, from the creepy atmosphere and photography, to the tighter writing and austere directing. Displaying meticulous artistic and horror-thriller consideration, it's still become somewhat of an ignored, underground picture with its blockbuster affiliation, being exclusively remembered as the American J-horror catalyst. And while the Asian-remake kick start was annoying, there's more positive contributions to be found here, in particular Naomi Watts' well-grounded performance, who already stands between strong actors, and a consistently classic, eerie, unsettling vibe rarely manifested elsewhere. Currently underrated and under appreciated, I think it might rightly be recognized as one of the defining 2000s chiller movies in a couple of years.