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The Grudge 2 (2006)

DVD Cover (Ghost House Pictures)
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4.5
 / 10
10 votes
Movie Connections:
The Grudge
> Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
> The Grudge (2004)
> The Grudge 2 (2006)
> The Grudge 3 (2009)
Genres:
Horror, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Takashi Shimizu Takashi Shimizu
Starring:
Sarah Michelle Gellar Sarah Michelle Gellar
Amber Tamblyn Amber Tamblyn
Arielle Kebbel Arielle Kebbel
Takako Fuji Takako Fuji
Edison Chen Edison Chen
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: October 17, 2006
With the Japanese horror remake craze winding down, "The Grudge 2" probably signals the end of the entire movement, unless a third film is greenlit - hey, if "Saw" deserves three films to complete its story arc, then so does "The Grudge". When the first film was released a couple years ago, I was a big fan of the material. I gave the first film a stellar review and called it one of the scariest films since "The Blair Witch Project". A couple of years later, having watched it numerous times - though it may not be one of the scariest films ever made, it is still pretty damn good, and pretty damn nice to watch, and pretty damn scary. You either love it or you have it. I loved the original. It was nice to see a film that went for those visceral scares - like "The Exorcist" and "Suspiria". Now, I am not saying "The Grudge" was as good as either of those films, but they went for the same kind of horror, and the same kind of feeling in the audience. "The Grudge 2" picks up where the original film left off, and if you didn't like the original, the odds are overwhelming that you will not like the sequel. It is pretty much the same kind of horror, but it does give us a little more background information and it helps move the overall story along. I enjoyed "The Grudge 2". It was very nice to watch.

No one is safe from Kayako Saeki in this film. We first meet three schoolgirls (Arielle Kebbel, Teresa Palmer, Misako Uno) who go into the house just to see what the fuss is all about. And, of course, the curse follows them. We then see Aubrey Davis (Amber Tamblyn) being summoned by her sickly mother to travel to Japan to look after her sister, Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the sole survivor from the original film. Enter a young reporter named Eason (Edison Chen), and it's up to he and Aubrey to try and stop the evil inside the house before it's too late. We also see cuts to the United States, where another family (Jennifer Beals, Christopher Cousins, Sarah Roemer, Matthew Knight) is being tormented by the same evil that infests the house in Japan. This film gives us much more background information on Kayako, especially involving her mother, and we start to see why this particular 'grudge' might never be satiated. "The Grudge 2" does something that the sequel to the film "The Ring" was unable to do - it gives us plenty of story, yet also manages to deliver its fair share of scares. There are some scenes in this film that, like most Japanese horror, are very beautifully shot. I think keeping Takashi Shimizu as director for this film was a brilliant move. He has now directed both Japanese versions and both American versions of this film.

The pacing of this film is exactly like the pacing of the original, and it works like that. We see events happen not necessarily in the order that they actually happened, we keep cutting back from Japan to the United States, and we keep building up to the overall conclusion of the film, which probably pissed a lot of audience members off. I thought it was a fine ending. Some evil just can't be destroyed and some people just shouldn't walk into creepy houses unless they're prepared to face the consequences. I have a hard time feeling bad for anyone in these films because anyone who is ridiculous enough to walk into a house like that, knowing the back story, deserves whatever they get, no matter how terrible. One of my favorite scenes in the film involves Edison Chen in his dark room, developing some pictures, when he is paid a little surprise visit. This is an example of how nicely "The Grudge 2" is shot, and how well the scenes like this work. Another enjoyable scene involved a young girl in a hotel room watching her boyfriend shower. "The Grudge 2" however just doesn't give you the suggestion of evil in the room - you see every bit of her, jerking and twitching and walking your way - popping out of nowhere and dragging you back to hell.

Though she is billed as the star of the film, Sarah Michelle Gellar does not last very long. Sorry, but did you really think she was going to make it through the entire film? Amber Tamblyn, whom I normally despise, is pretty bland here and doesn't do a whole lot, but she really was the least interesting character to me. Edison Chen has some nice scenes, but I am probably just saying that because he is the first Asian man I have ever found so attractive. The most interesting characters, for me, were the family back in the United States. Jennifer Beals was as gorgeous as ever as the new stepmother, and Christopher Cousins was quite threatening as the once loving husband, now consumed by the rage next door. I kept waiting for Bill Pullman to pop up somewhere, but he never did. I guess once you throw yourself off an apartment balcony, you're pretty much done for. Otherwise, the rest of the performances were consistent with most horror movie performances. Japan makes a lovely backdrop for a motion picture, and more films should utilize that. If it worked for "Lost In Translation" and "The Grudge" - it could work for any film that is released.

So - yes - I thought "The Grudge 2" was a good film. Did I like it as much as I did the first? Parts of it, yes. I think it was a fine sequel to a film that I thought was very well done. I do hope there is a third film in the series, because this story does have places it can go. This second film ends on such an apocalyptic note, there has to be some redemption somewhere in this storyline. Or, does there? "The Grudge 2" packs the same kind of punch as the original, and it either knocks you out or you don't even feel it. It depends on how you felt about the original. Don't go into the sequel expecting anything other than what the original delivered, and you won't be disappointed. But, for me - that creepy as moan, and her eyes, and her twitchy little walk - those are all enough for me to be thoroughly entertained by a dead chick. "The Grudge 2" is a fine way to spend the Halloween season and far better fare than the new "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" film, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say it pretty much blows "Saw 3" out of the water as well.

7.5/10.
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385 #1: 385 - added 02/01/2007, 01:38 AM
This was actually the first good review of the film I've read. I'm still thinking about seeing it, but I'm a bit leary of it. And also considering our opinions usually go in opposite directions, I'm still a bit leary. Oh well, I'm sure I'll happen across it eventually.
AttnDefDis #2: AttnDefDis - added 07/23/2009, 03:35 PM
While I enjoyed the first one and felt like it delivered what it was supposed to. I just found this movie hilarious. Particularly, the scene where the guy is playing peek-a-boo with the little cat-boy (really random). Typically, I like Amber Tamblyn, but who is buying that Sarah Michelle Gellar and her are sisters? That could have been cast better. Speaking of Sarah, I didn't expect her to last all that long, but she's only in it for about five minutes. I literally saw her entire part in the previews. Oh, and I couldn't agree more with bluemeanie on Eason. Normally, I too am not a big fan of Asian guys, but he is gorgeous. I was a little sad when he died.
385 #3: 385 - added 07/28/2009, 02:45 PM
So much better than I expected, but the three intertwining plots didn't flow together very well at all. Nifty little ending as well.

Why can't they be sisters now?
AttnDefDis #4: AttnDefDis - added 08/02/2011, 09:19 PM
I just don't think they look or act anything alike. When I saw the previews, I didn't get that they were sisters at all. I was like, "Oh, I wonder how Amber Tamblyn fits in?" I think I read it somewhere before I saw the movie and found it a little laughable.
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