8:00 PM, 20th August, 2005
When the first 'Americanised' Ring film was released, some complained that it was a shallow cash in compared to the original Japanese version. I actually preferred the American version as it's actually scarier and more plausible (as plausible as a dead girl coming out of a TV causing heart-attacks can be).
Ring 2 sees the original Japanese director given a chance to show how it should be done, but this time with an American budget. Rachel (Watts) and her son Aidan (Dorfman) have moved to a quiet country town to forget their past. But unfortunately Samara has followed them and this time she wants Aidan.
Unlike the first film this focuses far more on the spiritual side of horror, rather than the scare tactics of major Hollywood films. It makes use of a lot references to water and attempts to create a more deeper plot than your typical horror film. There are still some tense moments (the scene with the psychotic deer comes to mind) but nothing straight out scary. It's a different kind of horror film and nothing like the first Ring. It's good to see the different ways cultures can create suspense.
10:00 PM, 20th August, 2005
Jake Roenick (Hawke) is a former undercover officer who's now strictly on desk duty after a horrible mishap that resulted in the deaths of two fellow officers. It's his last day (coincidentally also New Year's Eve) in Precinct 13, and he's simply overseeing the transfer along with another cop (Brian Dennehy) and a secretary (Drea de Matteo).
Snowy conditions force a prison bus transferring dangerous cop-killer Marion Bishop (Fishburne) to unexpectedly take refuge in Precinct 13. What they don't realise is that there are a large number of corrupt cops surrounding the precinct who are determined to kill Bishop and any witnesses to their crime. Clear that they are outnumbered and outgunned, Roenick frees and arms the prisoners in a desperate bid to survive the night.
Assault on Precinct 13 is a great low-budget action thriller - no thought required (actually it's probably better that you don't think about it too much), but it's far from mindless. Whilst this is a re-make of a John Carpenter movie (itself a semi-remake of Rio Bravo), little more than the basic premise is kept from the original film. This is good because the quality of the new story is about the same as the old one and it meant I didn't know what was going to happen behind every turn! Recommended.