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  Publicity Stills of "The Grudge 2"
(Courtesy from GV)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Takashi Shimizhu
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Edison Chen
RunTime: -
Released By: GV
Rating: TBA

Opening Day: 2 November 2006

Synopsis :

The sequel to The Grudge. In Tokyo, a young woman (Tamblyn) is exposed to the same mysterious curse that afflicted her sister (Gellar). The supernatural force brings together a group of previously unrelated people who attempt to unlock its secret to save their lives.

Movie Review:

Having directed both the first two original Japanese-language Grudges as well as 2004's English-language remake, it's clear that Takashi Shimizu is afflicted with a form of creative stance, unable to progress past his signature series and unwilling to alter its formula in any appreciable way. In this latest installment, Aubrey Davis (Amber Tamblyn) is sent to Tokyo by her callous mom in order to bring home sister Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a plan that goes awry when Karen—still stalked by otherworldly fiends who like to reside in her hair. Thus begins Aubrey's listless investigation into the screaming (and, in the case of the little poltergeist boy, meowing) phantoms, an endeavor which amounts to little more than rehashing the ghostly legend's lore with a journalist sidekick (Edison Chen).

As similiar as in it's predesessors, three pseudo-consecutive storylines are thrown together, told simultaneously. The movie begins more or less where The Grudge left off, with Sarah Michelle Gellar reprising her role as Karen Davis, the young woman whose life took a wrong turn when she took a job in Tokyo's most haunted house. Now she's in a locked hospital ward—suspected of arson and murder—and her younger sister Aubrey (Tamblyn) has traveled to Japan to see what she can do to help her. Eason, the journalist uncovered a key clue as to why the spectral Kayako (Takako Saeki) and her young son, Toshio (Yuya Ozeki), are so intent on haunting people to death. Meanwhile, three schoolgirls—Vanessa (Teresa Palmer), Miyuki (Misako Uno), and the hapless Allison (Arielle Kebbel)—make a visit to the house, despite the legend of what befalls anyone who enters. And, inexplicably at first, the action moves to Chicago, where couple Bill (Christopher Cousins) and Trish (Jennifer Beals) begin behaving strangely, while Bill's young son Jake (Matthew Knight) becomes suspicious of bumps he hears in the night.

The narrative strategy that worked well two years ago with American audiences that become trite, stale, repetitive, and ineffective just two years later. Shimizu and Susco had little in the way of story to begin with and they have even less here, with the exception of newly revealed backstory for Kayako and her mother that cribs heavily from the Ring films. Sure, The Grudge 2 has a few jump scares, but even there, it becomes quickly apparent that Kayako and Toshio have lost their ability to generate fear in audiences. Laughter, on the other hand, is far more likely. Plus, The Grudge 2 is just one more genre entry that depends on the stupidity, naïveté, and/or curiosity of the characters to move their respective stories, even after they’ve been warned about the house or its supernatural occupants.

Tedious but occasionally scary sequel which feels old and uncreative. Takashi played it way too safe this time and it ended up being a complete mess. Even with heartfelt directing and its creepy atmosphere, The Grudge 2 offers nothing new to the franchise, but regardless, the teen audience might still enjoy this to some extent.

"There can be no end to what has started," gasps one old lady ahead of her imminent death. And she might well be right. Shimizu seems just about to start an aparent sequel in Japan....

Movie Rating:

Even though it has it moments, after countless reproductions of repetition, its a shame that the scare formular of japan horror are long gone.

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