Baptizing the Dead

The Ring 2: based on previous film and novel work by Koji Suzuki and Hiroshi Takahashi, written by Ehren Kruger; directed by Hideo Nakata; starring Naomi Watts (Rachel), David Dorfman (Aidan) and Simon Baker (Max Rourke) (2005): Here we go again. The homicidal ghost from The Ring continues to kill people in the year 2005 who are still using VCRs. Reporter Naomi Watts still has a lot of time to investigate the ghost’s origins, not all of which were discovered in The Ring.

Hideo Nakata, director of the original Japanese Ringu, brings a certain amount of visual flair to certain scenes. Still, interminable exposition and a ghost with no real limits makes for dull viewing for long stretches. David Dorfman, reprising his role as Watts’ vaguely psychic son, does a good job. Much of Simon Baker’s role appears to have been left on the cutting-room floor. No wonder he headed to TV to become The Mentalist! Not recommended.


Warm Bodies: adapted and directed by Jonathan Levine from the novel by Isaac Marion; starring Nicholas Hoult (R), Teresa Palmer (Julie), Analeigh Tipton (Nora), Rob Corddry (M) and John Malcovich (Grigio) (2013): From the Forbidden Planet school of extremely loose Shakespearean film adaptations comes Warm Bodies, in which Romeo is a zombie whose sudden love for Julie/Juliet causes him to gradually turn back into a human again.

Droll bits early and late comes mostly from zombie R’s narration. The middle gets swamped by Young Adult romance. Chaste Young Adult Romance. He’s still a zombie, and only vampire movies explicitly sanction teen-aged necrophilia as an admirable lifestyle. Sort of enjoyable, though the CGI on the really-bad ‘skeletal’ zombies is completely awful and unconvincing. Lightly recommended.

13 Eerie: written by Christian Piers Betley; directed by Lowell Dean; starring Katharine Isabelle (Megan), Michael Shanks (Tomkins) and Brendan Fehr (Daniel) (2013): They made this Canadian horror movie for $3 million. In Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan! The low budget and filming location are the most interesting things about this warmed-over bit of zombie nonsense.

Six forensics students, their professor, and an unfunny comic-relief Dogsbody head to a secluded island for their final field exam. They take an hour in a boat and some time in a converted school bus to get there, seems pretty odd later when they’re all standing by a highway. Apparently, it’s only an island on one side. Various zany experiments were conducted on convicts. Then the government left everything, including the undead convicts and the undead chemical barrels that made them undead, behind. And some other stuff. The zombies look like Peter Jackson orcs. Not recommended.

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