The Locker 2 (2004)

DVD Cover (Geneon)
Genres: Horror, Psychological Thriller, Supernatural Horror
We don't have a synopsis for this movie yet. Check back soon or send us your own!
Kei Horie Kei Horie
Maki Horikita Maki Horikita
Fumina Hara Fumina Hara
Akane Kimura Akane Kimura
Ken'ichi Matsuyama Ken'ichi Matsuyama
Chiaki Ohta Chiaki Ohta
Movie Connections:
The Locker
> The Locker 2 (2004)
> The Locker (2004)

5.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 19, 2005
The spoiler-free version of the storyline for this movie is going to be very brief due to the fact that this movie picks up directly where the first entry left off. Therefore, it's a bit difficult to say "here's what this sequel is about" without saying "here's how the first movie ended." Now then, the spoiler-free version of this plot revolves around Kubo Ayano (Horikita Maki) and her attempts to both find out the cause of the deaths that happened in the first movie and put an end to them. Really, that's about all that can be said for the storyline without giving away key points of the first movie, and considering the fact that these two films aren't very widespread in the USA, I'm going to end the brief version of the summary here. However, the next paragraph is a much more detailed overview of the storyline, and it will spoil things from the first movie. So, skip right on over the next paragraph if you'd prefer to be surprised.

<Begin spoilers for The Locker 1>
The movie begins with a brief flashback of Yajima Reika (Mizukawa Asami), the heroine from the first film, who we last saw laying in a hospital bed before handing the key to locker #0009 to her pupil Ayano. The first movie ended with this scene, and the second movie begins with it. Reika dies as a result of this curse, and Ayano decides to use this key to find out who or what exactly is responsible for all of the ongoing and unnatural deaths. Her research leads her to, where else, the cursed locker... and of course, we wouldn't have a movie if she didn't open it and curse herself in the process. Meanwhile, the police are investigating this rash of unexplainable deaths, and they enlist the help of Dr. Kakezawa Yuuichi (Nagasawa Toshiya) and his nurse / wife sidekick Muramatsu Megumi (Hara Fumina). They too find out about the cursed locker, and much like Ayano, they set out to find out just how true these rumors are.
<End spoilers for The Locker 1>

To be honest with you readers, this movie didn't feel like a sequel to me; instead, it felt like I was watching the second half of a single movie. Obviously, this is largely because of the way that this movie starts off with the exact same scene that the first one left off at, but it's also due to the fact that the ending of the first one really didn't do much for me. It worked out nicely enough to receive some praise from me, but honestly, I felt that it was a bit too open-ended (even by Japanese horror standards) and left too many unanswered questions. This one fills us in on everything that we were wondering about when the credits rolled on the first film, and although this one also ends in a pretty open-ended fashion, it's much more acceptable (and hey... it leaves room for a Shibuya Kaidan 3, which can only be a good thing).

The budget for this sequel seems to be a bit lower than what was given to the first entry, but this only comes into play during a couple of CGI sequences towards the end. I'm going to guess that the first movie didn't do very well theatrically, hence the budget cut here, but it all works out in the end. You see, this movie doesn't rely on gore or horrific images to scare the viewer; instead, it relies on the tried-and-true method of telling a good story and having interesting characters. Any example that I give to back up this statement would be pretty useless, as you really have to see how it works out on-screen to feel the full effect of the scare... so, it would be a waste of my time typing "in this one scene, such-and-such happens" due to the fact that you would not grasp how effective it was without seeing the things that led up to it, seeing the emotion on the characters faces, and reading the exact words that go along with the scene (I suppose it would have been even more effective if I could understand Japanese, but alas...). I will, however, say the following about the scares here. Sacchan (Sakon Kasumi) did a better job of sending shivers of fear up the spine of yours truly with four simple words at the end of this film (and without the use of fancy makeup, CGI effects, bloodshed, or even violence) than any of the big-budget Hollywood blockbusters released this year. Now then, consider that the same can be said for a number of scenes throughout this movie, and I think you see where I'm going with this.

In my review for the first film, I said that director Kei Horie had some really great ideas and obviously knew how to set a scene up for maximum fright value, and my only complaint there was that he seemed to borrow too heavily from other films. This movie solves that problem. There's a few things here that you'll recognize from other films, but it's nowhere near as prevalent as in the original film, and there's more than a few fresh ideas and surprises to be found in this sequel. Even though you'd be missing out on some plot details that were revealed in the first movie, I would definitely recommend this one over the original movie. However, thanks to the fine folks at Geneon Entertainment slapping both films on one disc, you don't have to choose which (if either) to check out - they're both there and available with the click of your remote. Give this disc some love if you're a fan of Japanese horror; it's not the best that the genre has to offer, but it's definitely up there. 9/10.
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