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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.58%
Worth A Look: 15.15%
Just Average: 6.06%
Pretty Crappy: 24.24%

6 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Grudge 2, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"The Kids Who Befriended Gamera Weren't This Irritating"
1 stars

Yes, I am fully aware that a lot of people–presumably 15-year-olds with too much free time on their hands–saw “The Grudge,” the 2004 English-language remake/continuation of the horror saga that director Takashi Shimizu had previously explored in no fewer than four previous outings (two for the Japanese DTV market and two for theatrical distribution), but do you know anyone who actually liked it? Despite that (not to mention the general decline in interest of remakes of Asian genre movies–“The Departed” notwithstanding), Shimizu and executive-producer Sam Raii have now blessed us with “The Grudge 2,” a film that has slunk into theaters containing 37% more grudginess, 97% less Sarah Michelle Gellar and the exact number of genuine scares and thrills as the previous installment (i.e. zero) and the result is a film that is just as creative and daring as the title suggests.

Perhaps in an admission that no one involved with the production could figure out a single storyline involving innocent dopes being terrorized by the still-vengeful spirits of a murdered Japanese woman (Takako Fuji) and child (Ohga Tanaka) that could be adequately stretched out to feature length (not that this bothered them the last time around), Shimizu and screenwriter Stephen Susco have given us a trio of loosely connected storylines involving people who are being pursued by the ghosts. (Think of it as “Babel” with a higher body count–it even includes a tormented Japanese schoolgirl, though the all-important PG-13 rating requires her to stay dressed here.) One involves Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn), the heretofore unknown sister of Karen (Gellar, making a cameo appearance that all but screams “Contractual Obligation”) who arrives in Japan and, with the aide of a dopey reporter (Edison Chen), tries to get to the bottom of what happened during the first movie. Another, set two years later, features Allison (Arielle Kebbel), an American student going to the International High School in Tokyo who, as part of a dare to fit in with the local Mean Girls (Teresa Palmer and Misako Uno), pays a fateful visit to the charred remains of the seemingly cursed house (helpfully described as “one of the most haunted houses in all of Tokyo”–one shudders to think what the most haunted house is like) and lives to regret it. Finally, in Chicago (which must a sister curse city to Tokyo), the residents of an apartment building (including Jennifer Beals and Jenna Dewan) appear to be slowly falling under the grips of some form of dementia in scenes that suggest what Roman Polanski’s “The Tenant” and “Repulsion” might have been like if Roman Polanski were an idiot.

As I said, these three strands are all supposed to connect in some way but since director Takashi Shimizu is unable to construct two entire scenes that flow together in any meaningful way, the result is a mess that plays more a compilation reel of ineffective scare scenes that I can virtually guarantee will not be spoofed in “Scary Movie 5.” (On the other hand, there is one bit–in which Dewan drinks an entire gallon of milk straight from the carton and then replaces it, for lack of a better description, that is so ludicrous that it looks as if it actually did come from “Scary Movie 5" or at least the deleted scenes section of the DVD.) Essentially, Shimizu has one scare technique in his arsenal and that is what I like to call the “BOO!” scene. You know the drill–everything is quiet and still for a while and then all of a sudden, something–usually a sallow-faced Japanese boy in short pants (which is disturbing, but not that disturbing) or another woman with long, stringy hair hanging in their eyes–jumps out of nowhere as the soundtrack goes all kerflooey. Used sparingly, “BOO!” scenes can be very effective–Alan Arkin’s surprise pop-up in “Wait Until Dark” and the first full-on appearance of the shark in “Jaws” leap to mind–but Shimizu uses this approach so often that even if the scenes were effectively done (which they aren’t), they would still wear out their welcome long before the conclusion of the second reel. Eventually, in what appears to be a last-ditch effort to mix things up, we do learn both the secret behind the curse and what it is that connects the Chicago and Tokyo stories. I won’t go into the details but the payoffs are so forced and unconvincing that the rage felt by the undead characters on the screen will be nothing compared to the rage felt by the poor suckers in the audience who just shelled out $10 a head to see them.

Look, depending on where you live, there is a virtual bounty of good-to-great movies that are either currently playing or which are on the horizon–“The Departed,” “The Prestige,” “Little Children,” “Marie Antoinette,” “Deliver Us From Evil,” Tideland” and “The Queen” immediately leap to mind. With titles as strong as those now in theaters, there is no reason that I can see why you should want to spend your precious time and money on “The Grudge 2,” a film whose sole redeeming virtue is that it isn’t quite as bad as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.”

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15258&reviewer=389
originally posted: 10/16/06 23:11:17
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User Comments

9/30/08 Ashley Nicole Hendershot-Wetherington Derivative. Plus seems Sarah Michelle Gellar's forgot what little acting she used to know. 3 stars
8/12/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
3/10/08 Jayme Isaacs The Grudge 2 Was Not As Good As The First Film 3 stars
11/14/07 mike what a complete joke. absolutely HORRIBLE movie that wasn't scary at all. just plain dumb 1 stars
10/23/07 Ivana Mann Nonsensical mess that becomes unintentional self-parody.Plot...what plot?Just hairy ghosts. 1 stars
4/25/07 Doug special fx were the only good thing about the movie, everything else was HORRIBLE! 2 stars
4/23/07 gravity 666 gay fucked and pointless the grudge 1 is 50 times better 1 stars
2/21/07 Beau after watching this film i felt ...dirty....like a part of my life had been stolen 4ever 2 stars
2/15/07 Axel Leos This movie does not suck!! some people just dont know how to enjoy a movie.. 5 stars
2/13/07 Rocky The Japanese "Grudge 2" was superior to this steaming turd, and that's not saying much 1 stars
2/09/07 HGTV fanatic too choppy, confusing, ridiculously not scary 1 stars
12/09/06 pete.chesworth GARBAGE from start to finish 1 stars
11/10/06 SirRobin C.......R...........A...............P 1 stars
11/10/06 Kristina Cooney Scared the heck out of my sister, I felt it in her grip. I'll admit I jumped too 4 stars
11/02/06 Ackles I wish America stop with these remakes. To name a few this year: Lake house, Departed etc.. 2 stars
10/30/06 Shovel Meister Well its.......random! if you like random killings and have a sick kinda humour, thumbs up! 4 stars
10/29/06 Willy Wonka This is probably the worst movie I have ever seen. 1 stars
10/29/06 katie i scared myself...thats why i thot it wuz scarry 5 stars
10/29/06 Tara WHAT A PEICE OF SHYT...didn't make sense, crappier than the first 1 stars
10/27/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Confusing to some, but yet another cool ghost story. Carries on with the storyline from #1 5 stars
10/23/06 michael 1st was better but this was still pretty good 4 stars
10/21/06 brandi pretty good....not scary 3 stars
10/20/06 Alicia I think its a cool movie 4 stars
10/19/06 Centipedes If you like this movie, you are a brain-dead drooling mental defective. 1 stars
10/19/06 chrissy dawson SCARY 5 stars
10/17/06 Pritchett Sucked even worse than the first one...almost as hard as Stephen King and Dean Koontz suck. 1 stars
10/16/06 Rob Gonsalves King said it first in Danse Macabre. Koontz later used it for a title. 1 stars
10/16/06 stephen king fan hey Rob Gonsalves, if I'm right, Dean Koontz was the author of "Bad Place," 2 stars
10/15/06 guddu sexy 5 stars
10/15/06 jak blok grudge 2=*SH!T* 1 stars
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  13-Oct-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Feb-2007



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