So I tried watching The Ring Two this afternoon, and although the movie didn't hold my attention (it seemed oddly inert), the opening scene - which manages to both feel incredibly rapey and end up being something somehow even worse - suggested a whole other possible movie it could have been.
It's probably not spoiling the movie to say that what we got was a movie about the protagonist of the first movie and her adorable precocious son and how the evil ghost isn't really gone after all and so there has to be even more mystery solving than there was in the first movie. This is boring, for a whole bunch of reasons I've already outlined here, and The Ring never needed a sequel.
But the opening scene is one in which an all-too-common act of violence and atrocity is warped into something even darker, and suggests a movie in which the protagonist from the first movie is beside the point, in which even Samara is sort of beside the point. It suggests a movie in which the tape has taken on a life of its own as another way for teenagers convinced of their own immortality to flirt with death, only to find out how not everything can be cheated. A movie in which the tape's curse propagates through a small town's teen population like a sexually transmitted disease, with people going to greater and greater lengths to avoid death from the curse, until the cruelty and disregard for life becomes even more frightening than the curse that spawned it. I would have watched that movie.