"The Grudge 2"
Directed by Takashi Shimizu.
Written by Stephen Susco. Based on the
film "Ju-On" by Takashi Shimizu.
Starring Amber Tamblyn, Edison Chen, and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 10/28/06
Look, even though I didn't really want to
see "The Grudge 2", I just KNEW there would be some comedy on behalf
of the reappearance of Catboy, the little boy from the first film
that only made meow sounds whenever he opened his mouth. You
just can't beat that kind of fun!!!
The first American version of
"The Grudge", directed by Japanese series
creator Takashi Shimizu, was mostly dogshit. In that one, a
cursed house in Tokyo needed a new caretaker for its owner, and when
none of the locals would take the job, in stepped an American named
Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who by entering the house
became one of the accursed thanks to the bad history of the
home--Dad went crazy and snapped the neck of his eight-year-old
daughter, then went on to drown his young son in the bathtub AND
crush the family cat. (Road rage, or something, I'm not sure
what.) This made the two kids ghosts, but not just your
run-of-the-mill ghosts but angry, killer ghosts, somehow capable of
being everywhere all the time and becoming solid zombies that could
just touch you and kill you, whether you had been inside the house
or not. I didn't get it, but the kills were funny.
Naturally, Karen survived the first
movie...JUST long enough to die in the opening of "The Grudge 2",
after she is hospitalized after trying to burn the cursed house to
the ground. Her sister, Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn), comes to Tokyo
from Pasadena to visit Karen, just in time to watch her fall from
the top of the hospital. Pissed that she had flown all that
way to watch her sister get tossed from the roof, Amber conducts her
own investigation into the killings with the help of a journalist
(Edison Chen)...meanwhile, in Chicago, more people are dying, and it
looks like the same two ghosts are doing all of the work...
Look, "The Grudge 2" is a bad movie; there's
no way to get around that. But, by giving us a couple of
decent scares thanks to Catboy and his sister, Dry Mouth Girl (her
sound effect will help you see what I mean), this movie did do a
decent job of keeping my attention because I howled every time
somebody was about to get touched by one of our two ghosts.
And, because Shimizu apparently thinks that his victims should stare
helplessly as one of the ghosts is about to touch them, it's even
better comedy to watch as someone sees a ghost coming, they stand
there all scared like, and ten seconds later, they have been touched
That's right--touched to death.
The acting is awful; one of the side
characters, a Japanese schoolgirl who speaks decent English, is so
bad I couldn't believe that she was in the film. Were there no
decent actresses available to play this part? At least the
flick moves fast; it is shot well and the freaky special effects do
create a good atmosphere for scares.
But, as I was the only person in the theater
when this movie played on a Saturday afternoon, I'm guessing you
will have to see this on home video if you are going to catch it.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard