Can someone please stop this guy? Director Takashi Shimizu has re-created the same movie six damn times, and while the first go around was slightly scary, this franchise without a plot barely has enough to last an hour, let alone 12. And there is another sequel coming to theaters in 2008!
The Grudge 2 is a sequel to the surprise 2004 hit The Grudge, which was based on a Japanese franchise called Ju-on, which in turn was based on a Japanese direct-to-video franchise called Ju-on. All are directed by the same man, who has somehow figured out a way to make the same movie over and over again and get paid increasingly more for every new attempt. If he thinks this is art and he will finally reach perfection, he is immensely wrong. The Sarah Michelle Gellar version wasn't very good to begin with, and its sequel is downright lame from beginning to end.
The Grudge 2 follows the same concept as the other movies: a bunch of dumb people wander into a haunted house, get followed by creepy ghosts and eventually die. The storylines are told out of chronological order to either 1) confuse its dumb American audience, or 2) attempt to trick its dumb American audience into thinking that the movie is more complicated than it actually is. These movies... have... no... plot. They make no sense and have no unique value to them whatsoever. Whatever intrigue the first movie had (by "first" I mean whichever version you watched first), with its downright eerie sound effects and frightfully pale Japanese ghosts, is lost, as Shimizu has resorted to more of the same, and he really seems to care a lot less.
The movie seems slapped together at the last minute. It's not that the production values are bad, but simply that it is clear that little thought was put into making this movie visually or conceptually intriguing in any way. The first American movie at least had some neat camera shots that really got you to jump, whereas here you are so used to Shimizu's tactics that you see every "scare" coming from a mile away. There is also more pronounced computer effects in this film, which really take away from the raw feeling found in previous films.
The acting also sucks. Sarah Michelle Gellar gets killed off quickly, but it's good because you can tell that she really doesn't care to be in the production at all. Amber Tamblyn takes over as the main character, but she is much worse than usual, perhaps because she realized that starring in a horror movie is the wrong direction for her potentially budding career. There are a bunch of other girls (and surprisingly few men) in the movie, but all of them are clearly there to look pretty and not do much else. There's also some young boy who really doesn't pull off the scared kid routine very well.
The Grudge 2 is a lame horror movie that just retreads the same old crap we've seen before. There is absolutely no reason to see this movie.
Review #2 (C)The only grudge I have against this movie is that Shimizu was allowed to make a sequel that is even more pointless, or should I say plotless, than the first. Don’t expect much from The Grudge 2.
If great movies were based on how many pointless killings you can fit into an hour and a half of film, G2 would take the cake. The weapon: Luscious hair and stealthy teleportation – following people wherever they go and morphing into their skin (and hair) with extreme deceit.
G2 starts where G1 ended – complete with an encore of random “jump” scenes, with no story to back it up with – leaving the viewer confused and thoughtless – although I had to think pretty hard as to why certain parts had anything to do with the movie itself.
What I enjoyed most about G2 was the ending; never was I anticipating the end of a movie, hoping it would answer my many unanswered questions. Instead, G2 was loosely held together by a weak plot, confusing flashbacks and minimal character development.
What’s even scarier than G2 is the fact that it was left wide open for a sequel. More magical than pulling a rabbit out of a hat will be the directors attempt to lure audiences to see G3.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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