Red Room 2 (2000)

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Connections: Red Room

Another four average citizens play the 'King Game', for a chance to win big money. They torture each other in increasingly horrific ways as per the games rules. --IMDb
Review by Tristan
Added: August 01, 2008
Will there ever be an instance where I actually enjoy the sequel just as much, if not more than the original. Sure there's the odd series that's surpassed the original with an exceptional sequel - The Empire Strikes Back is far superior to the original film - but usually it's a pretty steep drop off from the first film. That is the case with tonight's film, Red Room 2. It didn't cover any new territory, but a film like this really doesn't have to. The first film was an unrelenting Japanese exploitation film created for one reason: to shock audiences. This isn't the freshest concept, but people such as myself keep buying into it, so why not drain a few more dollars out of our pockets? With the first film being such a huge success, it only made sense to quickly bang out a sequel. Daisuke Yamanouchi wasted no time in doing this, as the film was released a mere year after the first one. For some reason it took 8 years to make its way to American audiences, but the original did the same, so I can't justifiably harp on it for its slow transition. Whether it's 8 years or 18, I'm just glad it made its way to my DVD player, even though it was a bit of a letdown.

Our film begins exactly the same as the original, with four complete strangers competing in the "King's Game" for 10 million Yen. But wait. One of the contestants mysteriously died a day before the game, so she is being replaced by a 3-time winner. For this inconvenience and unfair advantage, the stakes are even higher, with all 4 contestants playing for 20 million Yen. So there's a professional King's Game player, a religious nut, a laid-back slacker type, and a hot head who's convinced he'll win, and will stop at nothing to get that 10 million Yen. Who will survive, and what will be left of them? I'm sorry, wrong movie. But it just fits so perfectly with this scenario. The contestants waste no time jumping into the game with more horrific and over-the-top orders than the original, and by the end of the game, only one will be left standing to claim the prize.

There isn't a whole hell of a lot of plot here. Just like the first one, it's a film that speaks to a certain kind of audience, and that audience only. The only real difference between this one and the original - aside from the orders themselves, and the cast - is the extreme nature of the stunts. I think director Daisuke Yamanouchi was trying his damnedest to outdo his original film, and completely shock the audience. The film starts off with man masturbating onto a woman's face while she fellates a lightbulb, so right from the get go you're taken aback. I say the stunts were extreme, but not graphically so. Sure, some of them were pretty horrible, but the majority of them seemed campy and funny more than gross. The thought of the act is more disgusting than what you see on the screen. You can probably accredit that to a lower budget, or maybe Yamanouchi just wanted to have a little more fun with this one. A fisting-turned-abortion scene definitely seems like a deliberate joke by the director. There wasn't anything quite as memorable as the "lightbulb" scene from the first one, but a few came pretty close. This one seemed a little more perverse and sex oriented than the original which, in all honesty, is a big thumbs up in my book. They don't call it torture porn for nothing.

If you were a fan of the first one, I see no reason why you shouldn't check this one out as well. It's nothing too special, but it's a nice companion piece to the original. Just remember that the "twist" ending is really fucking awful, and you'll be alright. It's not as good as the first one - they never are - but it's still worth a watch. If it weren't for the ending, I think a 7 would sound about right. However it was just a real cop out on the director's part, and a major letdown. I won't be able to sleep tonight if I give this any higher than a 6, and even that's being generous. It's pretty hard to ruin a good movie in its final moments, but when it does happen, you're almost left more pissed off than if it had been a bad movie the entire time.

Chad #1: Chad - added 01/13/2009, 07:37 AM
Completely agreed - that ending was complete horseshit.
Sarcastos #2: Sarcastos - added 01/13/2009, 04:14 PM
It was probably considered genius in Japan. But when i watched this for the first time after buying the dvd, all i thought was why?
I enjoyed the movie up until that and your gonna golden shower my face.
I look at this movie like my grandfather when he was dying, remember the good times and disregard the end.
Ginose #3: Ginose - added 09/05/2010, 02:52 PM
That ending was fucking awesome. I thought this was so much better than the first it hurt. I didn't think much of anything interesting happened in the first film, this one had alot going for it, was completely balls-to-the-wall and the ending had me laughing my ass off. I'm not sure what type of consistency or high-brow entertainment you all expected, but I thought it was great. Severely want a third.
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