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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.58%
Worth A Look: 15.15%
Average: 6.06%
Pretty Bad: 24.24%
Total Crap46.97%

6 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Grudge 2, The
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by Doug Bentin

"Grudge match"
4 stars

I am sometimes challenged in a playful way about my frequent assertions of an admittedly perverse, for my age, love of horror films—especially given the fact that I write positive reviews of so few of them. But it’s like having children—you always want your kinder to be the special ones, and you definitely don’t want yours to be the worst behaved on the block.

So an admitted love of the genre means that any time a new creepshow opens, I want it to be the “A” choice viewing for that week and if, instead of being as good as “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974) it turns out to be as lousy as the chain saw sequels/remakes, someone’s going on a trip to the woodshed. Hand me the razor strop, ma.

Which brings us to another sequel/remake, “The Grudge 2.” If the Julia Roberts crowd heckles me about liking horror films, the horrorheads lambaste me no end for liking scary movies they deem unworthy of praise. Sorry, gang. This time there’s no woodshed. No razor strop.

The series began in 2000 with “Ju-on,” a Japanese thriller by director Takashi Shimizu about a house in Tokyo so haunted it makes Hill House look like Malibu Barbie’s beach house. A man driven mad by jealousy murders his wife and son, then hangs himself. Good horror films are never about happy people, which may be a main reason adolescents like them so much, and this one is pretty bleak.

According to legend, when someone dies in the grip of highly intense negative emotions, the spirit attaches itself to the place of death, and anyone entering that place will become the supernatural prey of this twisted entity.

In the American remake, “The Grudge,” also directed by Shimizu (“Marebito”), Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a Yankee elder care student in Tokyo who becomes the target of the ghost of the murdered woman and her child. This new film opens just where that first one ended. Karen is in the hospital, terrified of what may have followed her there. Her sister Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn) shows up to take her home, but when Aubrey goes to the haunted house with a Japanese reporter (Edison Chen) the curse begins again.

Okay, you ask, why would Aubrey willingly enter a house that is so haunted, it will sic a duo of murderous ghosts on her? Didn’t Karen warn her about the place? Yeah, she did, and you can either see little sister’s decision as the only way to find out what really happened—admit it, if you were in her place, you wouldn’t believe it was ghosts, either, even if you had seen “The Ring”—or you can recognize that the characters in horror films of a certain type—this type—have somehow managed to slip into a gothic nightmare in which nothing is quite right.

The film, again directed by Shimizu, has several good scare moments, unfortunately and unnecessarily punctuated by crashes on the soundtrack, and a general air of creepiness and near despair. This is not one of those horror movies that lets your nerves off the hook with a steady barrage of one-liners. You get the sense that these are real people who are genuinely frightened and in some place they don’t understand, and are not just disposable “B” list Freddy-fodder.

The movie is actually telling three stories at once, cutting back and forth between narratives and time lines, but none of them are difficult to follow and they all come together with a profound inevitability.

I like the fact that executive producer Sam Raimi (“The Evil Dead,” “Spiderman”) hasn’t tried to remove all that is Asian from these films by turning the remakes over to second-tier American directors. He’s producing a movie to be released early next year that is being directed by Danny and Oxide Pang, the twin brothers from Hong Kong who scored big in America with their 2004 hit “The Eye,” and Shimizu has been signed for a second “Grudge” sequel.

“The Grudge 2” is a nice blend of genre expectations with well constructed shocks that will keep most viewers off balance. It will creep you out, but don’t expect to leave the theater all feel-goody. This movie is too honest about the nature of fear for that.

Asian horror films are often kidded for being about ghost women with long, black hair, and this one makes a virtue of that by making the hair a symbol of the wicked something that this way comes.

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originally posted: 10/28/06 04:13:17
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User Comments

10/01/08 Ashley Nicole Hendershot-Wetherington Derivative. Plus seems Sarah Michelle Gellar's forgot what little acting she used to know. 3 stars
8/13/08 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
11/15/07 mike what a complete joke. absolutely HORRIBLE movie that wasn't scary at all. just plain dumb 1 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Nonsensical mess that becomes unintentional self-parody.Plot...what plot?Just hairy ghosts. 1 stars
4/26/07 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 a part of my life had been stolen 4ever 2 stars
2/16/07 Axel Leos This movie does not suck!! some people just dont know how to enjoy a movie.. 5 stars
2/14/07 Rocky The Japanese "Grudge 2" was superior to this steaming turd, and that's not saying much 1 stars
2/10/07 HGTV fanatic too choppy, confusing, ridiculously not scary 1 stars
12/09/06 pete.chesworth GARBAGE from start to finish 1 stars
11/11/06 SirRobin C.......R...........A...............P 1 stars
11/11/06 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
10/31/06 Shovel Meister Well its.......random! if you like random killings and have a sick kinda humour, thumbs up! 4 stars
10/30/06 Willy Wonka This is probably the worst movie I have ever seen. 1 stars
10/30/06 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
10/28/06 Mark Louis Baumgart Confusing to some, but yet another cool ghost story. Carries on with the storyline from #1 5 stars
10/24/06 michael 1st was better but this was still pretty good 4 stars
10/22/06 brandi pretty good....not scary 3 stars
10/21/06 Alicia I think its a cool movie 4 stars
10/20/06 Centipedes If you like this movie, you are a brain-dead drooling mental defective. 1 stars
10/20/06 chrissy dawson SCARY 5 stars
10/18/06 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
10/16/06 guddu sexy 5 stars
10/16/06 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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