Ring / Ring Two Soundtrack (Music)

Reviewed by The Woman in Black

Composed by Hans Zimmer, Henning Lohner & Martin Tillman

Released by Decca

Without a doubt one of the most interesting directors working today is Hideo Nakata. I consider his original Japanese Ring and Ring 2, along with Dark Water, modern day classics. Why, then, was I so disappointed in his American directorial debut, The Ring Two? One thing’s for sure: It wasn’t because of the soundtrack!

Composed and conducted by the multi award-winning Hans Zimmer with the assistance of Henning Lohner and Martin Tillman, the score on its own provides an abundance of atmosphere and suspense that is sadly lacking in the film itself. The instruments Zimmer and his protégés choose to emphasize – piano, violin, synthesizer, and especially the “dueling” cellos played by Tillman and Anthony Pleeth – evoke a mood of increasing unrest, emotion, and, yes, horror that should thrill listeners both young and old for years to come.

Zimmer’s score for the first American Ring was not released at the time that movie came out, so DreamWorks opted to include selections from it here as well. That’s a nice bonus for fans, but unfortunately, the CD’s packaging doesn’t differentiate in any way between the Ring and Ring Two material. A minor oversight, I admit, but I’m a stickler for detail. Besides, it seems to me they would want their audience to associate each piece of music with the film from which it was taken; I certainly would if I were the composer.

The CD opens strongly with The Well, a long piece that ebbs and flows like the water that’s such an important part of these films. Of special note is Not Your Mommy with its alternating soothing and angry tones. Although relatively short compared to other offerings on the CD, it’s a compelling track that enables one to envision the power struggle between Samara and Rachel almost without even needing to see the film. I’ll Follow Your Voice is a lushly beautiful melody that I simply cannot listen to enough.

The final third of the CD has generated some criticism from the more purist-minded of the films’ fans due to its techno and at times thrashy-sounding style. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I particularly like the upbeat nature of Let The Dead Get In, but the highlight has to be Track 11 with its ethereal laughter, beeping phone, and voice whispering, “Seven days . . . .” They, along with the other two remixed tracks, make a nice companion to the restive and ghostly sweep of the pieces that came before.

Who knows? Maybe The Ring Two will play better via DVD on the small screen than it did in theatres. (A girl can dream, right?) But even if that’s not the case, you can always opt to pop the soundtrack into your CD player, lower the lights, snuggle up to a special someone, and experience all the spookiness you could ask for thanks to the wondrous team of Zimmer, Lohner, and Tillman!

The Ring / The Ring Two Soundtrack (2005)
Run Time: 63 minutes and 11 seconds
Track Listing:
1. The Well
2. Before You Die You See The Ring
3. This Is Going To Hurt
4. Burning Tree
5. Not Your Mommy
6. Shelter Mountain
7. The Ferry
8. I’ll Follow Your Voice
9. She Never Sleeps
10. Let The Dead Get In
11. Seven Days
12. Television

4 out of 5

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Debi Moore

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