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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 William Goss

"Stupid Broads & Shrill Noises: Vol. 2"
2 stars

Oh, those pesky Asian ghosts. Summoned by the unreasonable financial success of its 2004 predecessor, 'The Grudge,' they have returned for its inevitable sequel (the original Japanese franchise, also helmed by director Takashi Shimizu, is currently preparing for a fifth incarnation). As such, theyíre up to their old antics again, causing a ruckus with a gaggle of white teenage girls, what with their long black hair, sudden violin shrieks, and that darned croaking sound theyíre just so fond of. Itís a shame that what was once fascinatingly silly has now become frustratingly so.

Once again, the story is composed of three loosely associated narrative threads:

I: Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn), younger sister to prior protagonist Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), finds herself shipped to Tokyo in order to keep tabs on her hospitalized sibling and find out why sheís suddenly so screwy.

II: Allison (Arielle Kebbel), a shy schoolgirl, is goaded by two pals into trespassing upon possessed property, to unfortunate effect.

III: Trish (Jennifer Beals, still a maniac) moves into the Chicago apartment of her significant other, just as wary stepson Jake (Matthew Knight) begins to hear strange noises next door.

If thereís one thing that The Grudge 2 has going for it, it would be consistency, in mood, look, and structure. Then again, if you had made the same movie about six times within six years, there should be no excuse for getting any of it wrong, and such faithfulness also makes for a good deal of repetition. The sequel kicks off with an identical scroll (residual rage from a string of murders within the main haunted abode subsequently curses all those who cross the welcome mat), and then proceeds to tackle a similar story over familiar territory, incorporating previous events without expanding on them to quite the same depth.

Consequently, audiences are left with an episodic marathon of abrupt appearances by Japanís most unkempt spirits whenever a victim meets their vague fate, most of which are frightening only to the jumpiest of teens and a handful of shell-shocked war vets. Some of the incidents are, in fact, too familiar, particularly a blondeís shower scene and a potential assault under the covers. Pity that Yoko, the jawless wonder, couldnít make a cameo in an effort to mix the same old, same old up a bit. As far as fresh material goes, thereís the occasional stubborn staredown, and even a sudden bout of lactose intolerance, among other peculiar situations. However, if I really wanted to see a girl either urinate on herself or regurgitate milk, Iím just sure there has to be a website or two out there that covers such bases.

Alas, what remains is 100 minutes of consecutive ambushes, a trend that wore its welcome 30 minutes into the previous film. Instead of the bleak dread or menace that should accompany a tale in which a something-anything can appear somewhere-anywhere and from which none of the characters will ever escape, we get cues of painfully minimal variation as to what will pop up where by when. Lather, rinse, repeat (perhaps the only thing the phantoms donít do on a regular basis). After two movies Stateside, not to mention all of the thematic cousins of late, it gets pretty damn redundant. Hell, youíd have to go all the way back to last week for a genre effort equally self-serving and suspense-free in the pursuit of a buck, not that the writers of Scary Movie 5 especially mind or anything. Shimizu maintains a commendable devotion to practical effects for the most part, but so very few of the alleged scares actually work that the practical method only tends to make for more laughable moments in contrast.

The general blend of absurdity and tedium that sets in makes the cast's efforts that much more striking. Even with clunking dialogue at every turn, each performer seems surprisingly committed to selling their terror, whether the audience bothers buying it or not. With her star status hovering in neutral at the moment, prospective up-and-comer Kebbel (Aquamarine, John Tucker Must Die) actually makes an admirable transition from her typically voluptuous self to a more vulnerable figure, albeit with the help of a dye job. Meanwhile, as evidenced in the trailer, Gellar keeps her performance brief, probably so she could film this fallís The Return, a supernatural thriller about a young woman contending with a vengeful spirit. It sure is nice to see her showing some range these days.

At one point, a character remarks, ďItís not creepy. Itís sad.Ē Maybe as the leads boast about how they must stop this evil before itís too late, theyíre actually showing some concern and consideration for their audience, especially with no assurance that another sequel wonít follow if the price is right. At this rate, the only thing scarier than a ghost popping up at any given moment would be dollar signs, and even then, we still couldnít say that we didnít see it coming.

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originally posted: 10/13/06 19:52:10
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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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