Confession time: I did not love the 2002 film and still have not seen Ringu (I know). But I liked Kruger's draft for The Ring 2, perhaps even more so than the first film. I found The Ring to be interesting rather than involving, intriguing rather than scary (but I admit to being in the minority on this).
According to Yahoo! Movies, there was substantial re-editing done to the 2002 film, including the excision of an entire subplot featuring Oscar-winner Chris Cooper as a serial killer of children. Test screenings reportedly forced the filmmakers to further explain the mystery of the cursed videotape, which I felt is what ruined the picture.
The lore of the tape just confounded me; less would have been more but apparently suburbia needed to be hit over the head with answers to riddles that still don't make sense. Determining what scares people in a movie is like trying to gauge what they find sexy; some folks like overt imagery, screaming and splatter, while others liked to be teased with hints and to use their imagination to, uh, probe deeper.
Another thing that bugged me about the first film was that, while I liked the characters (particularly Watts and Dorfman), I felt they served the story not the other way around. Not so this time. This draft of The Ring 2 is definitely about Rachel and Aidan and that's why I enjoyed it.
I cared about these characters, which is what made this draft a page-turner (even more so than its mysterious elements). The relationship between Rachel and Aidan had – no pun intended – the ring of truth to it without being schmaltzy. They're my favorite mother/son pairing in a thriller since Toni Collette and Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense.
The dread and terror in this story are amplified precisely because you do care about these protagonists. You don't want to see anything bad befall them but, since it's a horror film, you grimly accept that it's bound to happen.
CLICK HERE for the not too spoiler filled review of the script!