Monday, 28 September 2020
The Grudge 2
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 21:30

I Can Hold a Grudge

The great thing about writing film reviews is that I am pretty much guaranteed to do good deeds without even really trying. If I stop even one person from wasting their time and money on a really bad movie, I get one more notch on the “Good Deed-O-Meter”. And make no mistake The Grudge 2 is a really baaad movie.

The history of The Grudge movies is almost as confusing as the movies themselves, so I’ll just briefly sum up. Director Takashi Shimizu has made a career almost exclusively out of directing versions of The Grudge, the first being the Japanese Ju-on in 2000 followed suit by Ju-on 2. Given the huge success, Hollywood snapped it up and Western audiences were treated to a seriously creepy remake in 2003. To me The Grudge and The Ring signaled a triumphant return for supernatural horror films. Unfortunately the sequels for both of these films have been major disappointments!

The Grudge 2 sounds promising enough, picking up where the first film left off. Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn) journeys to Japan after hearing that her sister has been hospitalized. Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was the main character in the first movie and we find out that those events have left her with less than a full deck. In short she is wacko. It is up to Aubrey to piece together what happened before it is too late.

Take that scenario and run with it and the movie might have turned out fine. But unfortunately this stuff gets lost among myriad other stories, most of which don’t make much sense. One plotline follows three annoying young schoolgirls who check out the haunted house as a dare. Another reveals the origins of Kayako, the ghost, and what made her evil (because apparently being brutally murdered by her husband wasn’t enough). Still another story is about a family in California who seem to be completely unrelated to anything else in the movie. All of these storylines do come together at the end, but by the time they do we just don’t care anymore!

The movie spreads itself too thin with so many characters that we don’t have time to get attached to any of them. Anything worth salvaging was already done in the first movie, such as the reenactment of Kayako’s death, which we get to see at least twice more just to make sure we get it. She and her specter son are as creepy as ever but far less effective because they are constantly popping up everywhere for no reason! Seriously, whatever happened to building tension? In the first film the ghosts were hell-bent on revenge but in this they seem to be happy playing a series of practical jokes.

My biggest problem with The Grudge 2 is the same problem I had with The Ring 2. In that, the evil dark-haired ghost of Samara could suddenly emerge anywhere she wanted whenever she wanted. No longer confined to emerge from the cursed videotape, she could just stepped out of anyone’s television she pleased. Likewise in The Grudge 2, Kayako and her son are no longer trapped in the house or even limited to offing people who had been in the house. And not only that but, in an unnecessary twist, it looks like they aren’t the only Grudges around.

The Grudge 2 has a couple of neat effects that might keep you entertained between naps, but with such terrible storytelling it isn’t worth your time. There you have it - my good deed for the day. If I were a Girl Scout I’d earn a badge for this. I give The Grudge 2 3 stars out of 10.