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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

Grudge 2, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Enough spooky Asian chicks with long black hair, please."
1 stars

Give credit where credit is due: "The Grudge 2" is surely the strangest and most incomprehensible film to open on 3,000-plus American screens in quite some time. It's also one of the most boring.

2004's The Grudge — itself a remake of the popular Japanese TV/movie series Ju-On — cost $10 million and wound up making it back eleven times over, so of course a sequel was inevitable. But couldn't the returning filmmakers (director Takashi Shimizu and writer Stephen Susco) have injected some fun into the proceedings? Like its predecessor, The Grudge 2 offers nary an intentional laugh, unless you count a weird bit of business involving a monk on a bus doing some sort of peek-a-boo with his hands.

But then the whole movie is peek-a-boo — it's the same eek! moments with the odd-looking, wide-mouthed Japanese ghost boy and the staggering, long-haired Japanese ghost woman (seriously, what is with Asian horror and long black hair?). As before, the psychic residue of rage inflicts itself on innocent mortals who have the misfortune to enter what Stephen King once called a Bad Place — a house with a violent past. I get what these movies are trying to do, and I even appreciate that they go about it in an elliptical, spiritual way. But they still don't do anything for me. I'm ghosted out, I think, and I've also seen every trick Shimizu has up his sleeve. These films are popular with teenagers who haven't seen it all before, who don't see every jump scare coming a mile off.

If you're thinking of seeing this because you're a Sarah Michelle Gellar fan, you'd better also be a Sarah Michelle Gellar completist, because she appears here for maybe five minutes all told. Her character from the 2004 remake, Karen Davis, is in a Tokyo hospital; her sister Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn) is charged with bringing her home to the states. The puffy and troubled-looking Amber Tamblyn, late of Joan of Arcadia (she was also in the Ring remake), is a more interesting actress than the material here allows her to show. She mostly goes from place to place, finding corpses (and she's the second person in two weeks, following Leonardo DiCaprio in last weekend's The Departed, to witness someone fall from a great height and land at their feet).

In a subplot, integrated none too adeptly into the plot, Jennifer Beals plays a (possibly unfaithful) new wife dealing with her new stepchildren. Where this leads is no great surprise, since the movie opens with it and then flits back in time. But we know and care nothing about Beals or her new family, and the subplot isn't given enough time or space to develop. The supernatural Japanese rage somehow finds its way to Chicago and this American family, for reasons we have to slog to the end to find out. There's also a haunted American girl going to school in Tokyo, along with a bunch of other American kids who learn very basic kanji and whose presence in the film is baffling. It's possible that enough American businesspeople work in Japan to justify showing a classroom of American kids in Tokyo (though no mention is made of this), but one suspects the real reason is that the studio thought American teenagers needed American kids to identify with.

I was hardly a fan of the first Grudge, but I've got the DVD behind-the-scenes documentary playing in the background as I write this, and every now and then I look up and see an arresting image. And people like Sam Raimi are talking about what a master filmmaker Takashi Shimizu is. He may well be — I haven't seen all his work — but I wouldn't build that argument on The Grudge 2. Shimizu simply repeats himself here, right down to the freaky shower incident (and, as before, the PG-13 rating means a bitter disappointment for teenage boys — or teenage lesbians — hoping to see more than bare feet and shoulders).

The filmmaking is uninspired and lazy, as if Shimizu, having danced the "Ju-On"/"Grudge" dance six times now (and a "Ju-On 3" has been announced), were tired of dancing. He just shuffles through, setting up the expected scares for the Saturday-night teenagers. Maybe he harbors a grudge against the same success that has now trapped him into doing the same screeching kid and the same dark-haired ghost over and over.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15258&reviewer=416
originally posted: 10/14/06 23:09:37
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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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