Mai Takano (Miki Nakatani) is trying to learn more about the death of her college professor boyfriend, Ryuji. She hears stories about a videotape haunted by the spirit of Sadako, a young girl who was cast into a well by her own father and died many years earlier. Supposedly, anyone watching the accursed tape will die of fright exactly one week later.
The investigators from the first film are dead or missing, so a new journalist and a student embark on the dangerous quest to solve the mystery. Complications arise as more and more people are affected by the video images. It becomes evident that Sadako's evil powers are being insidiously transferred to the living...
I must confess I can't quite see what all the fuss is about with these films. As ghost stories, they contain some undeniably creepy moments, but the plotting is rather plodding and the characters difficult to take too seriously. Comparisons with David Cronenberg, whose Videodrome also dealt with deadly video messages, don't really cut it.
There are moments of genuine terror in the Ring films; but not enough to elevate these strange and slightly frustrating movies to the heights of horror classics.