There is a rule about moviemaking that states that one should never work with children or animals. They only work in small doses, especially kids, whose ignorance and immaturity undermine twice as much as any smile or tear might add.The old adage “children should be seen and not heard” is useful not because we should be attentive to the young, but because, generally, they should keep their mouths shut. Like libertarians, children are more trouble than they’re worth and never stop whining. Usually, a film is doomed from the start if a major portion of its narrative hinges on a child. “The Ring Two” is no exception.It is inferior, compared to its predecessor, getting into serious trouble when the focus shifts from a cursed videotape that murders its viewers to the ghost attempting to possess the child from the original. The movie is flawed, with a plot that commits many crimes against the viewer. “The Ring Two” begins with Naomi Watts’ character, Rachel, trying to start a new life after the events of the previous film. Such setups never last long, though, and soon enough, a copy of the tape surfaces in her new town. In addition, her son, Aidan, begins displaying many of the same qualities of Samara, the ghost in the tape, and Rachel learns that she is searching for a new body, specifically Aidan’s.Like “The Ring,” the sequel’s plot is more than slightly confusing and convoluted, but unlike the former, this movie moves at such a slow pace that one can do nothing but focus on the fact that the narrative makes little sense. We are forced to question certain points and intentions, while never receiving answers to the “how” and “why.” For example, I thought Samar gains abilities that are never fully clarified or explained. Also, it seems that she’s done this before, but, again, we’re given little background and forced to shrug our shoulders at yet another plot point. This is not to say that a horror movie should be “logical,” but it should provide some answers – or at least enough to keep us satisfied. However, none of this adds up to make a completely terrible movie, necessarily. There are moments of genuine creepiness and some good frights, but they are few and far between. We should never malign a film for attempting to be more pensive and experimental than usual, although there is a thin line between these aspects and words such as “slow” and “confusing.”There will probably be discussions by film geeks and students about a Japanese director, Hideo Nakata, filming the American remake of his own film, “Ringu Two.” Nakata is a good director, but ultimately, the kid is the problem, as he can’t pull his own weight, and the movie suffers for it. He is strange, creepy and one-dimensional – before he gets possessed. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh here, but honestly, it’s only natural to dislike children. There are reasons animals eat their young.Battenhausen can be reached at

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