The Grudge 2 (2006) Movie Review
Written By: TJ
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Producers: Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, Takashige Ichise
Writers: Stephen Susco
Date Released: October 13, 2006
Amber Tamblyn as Aubrey
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen Davis
Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki
Arielle Kebbel as Allison
Edison Chen as Eason
Matthew Knight as Jake
Teresa Palmer as Vanessa
Jennifer Beals as Trish
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Ordered by her sick mom, Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn), Karen’s sister, goes to Tokyo to get her sibling and safely take her home to California. There she meets Eason (Edison Chen), a journalist who follows the story of Karen’s tragedy in the Saeki house. When Aubrey sees her sister in the hospital bed, Karen panics and has to be restrained. Eason explains to Aubrey everything that has happened, including the curse and how he saved Karen from fire. The two retrieve the journal from Saeki house, but accidentally getting Aubrey cursed as well. As the two tries to dig deeper into the darkness, Eason mysteriously dies, leaving Aubrey to continue the quest, and that is to find Kayako’s mother and stop the curse.
The Grudge 2 (2006) is not as gory as the first film The Grudge (2004). Although there isn’t a missing jawline or any body parts included in the sequel, there are a few scenes in this film that will make you wince. Some of them are Karen’s plunge from the rooftop and seeing her body surrounded by a pool of blood, and Kayako’s mom performing the ritual where she takes away the evil spirit in the form of blood from people and put it inside Kayako’s mouth. However, like the first film, this second one is greatly outnumbered by jump scares rather than graphically gory imagery. The usual Kayako and her son’s ghosts appearing anywhere at will. Simply put, this sequel is lamer than the first film in terms of gore, but if you’re just looking for something to give you a heart attack, then might as well move on to this second film after watching the first one.
The Grave Review
Sequels are a tricky thing. Directors have to adjust to the audience’s standards who have seen the first film, and at the same time making sure that the sequel is not too confusing for the other viewers who haven’t seen the first one. Horror films are the hardest to create a sequel from for the fact that fright are often dependent on the audience’s lack of expectation. Takashi Shimizu and screenwriter Stephen Susco tried hard enough to portray a story a little different from the 2004 film, but still falling on the derivative plot in the end.
Since we are reviewing a sequel, we can’t help but compare it to the first one. The Grudge (2004) might slack in story, but The Grudge 2 is worse. Audience’s fear has already subsided seeing Kayako and her son pestering innocent people, and not giving a concrete and frightening twist in the end is not really going to work. Revealing that Kayako’s mom doesn’t have anything to do with Kayako’s hatred just made the film excruciatingly frustrating and boring. Aside from shedding long hair in various shower stalls and clogging drains on a global level, The Grudge 2 is ruthlessly uneventful.
The film surely brought along the sound effects and camera angles they used in the first film, thus still giving the typical jump scares to its viewers. However, the creepy atmosphere is lessened, and in fact Kayako and her son isn’t scary anymore. Computer-generated imagery are very poor, it’s almost laughable. The scene where a character is consumed by hair, inside a telephone booth in broad daylight, just proves how this film tries so hard to be scary, but epically failed. It’s good that they kept the main setting in Tokyo, and at the same time travelling to the other side of the world, thus creating the idea that the spirit is not contained in one place. But isn’t it more ludicrous knowing that the hatred of Kayako for being killed after she cheated can go that far?
The cast has improved, with more names widely known in Hollywood such as Teresa Palmer and Jennifer Beals. The main girls tried well enough to scream, cry, and shake hysterically, somehow effective but not revolutionary. Sarah Gellar and Jennifer Beals are given too little amount of time in the movie so they didn’t make much of an impact.
Surely there are a few people who are satisfied seeing this film, but many are regretful wasting their money on this. The Grudge 2 isn’t the worst, it’s just plain repetitive. And quite disappointingly, repetition is the death of horror.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Grudge 2 (2006) one and a half graves out of five graves.
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