More Antipathy Than A Grudge This Time Around

October 14, 2006

  • US Release Date: October 13, 2006
  • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • MPAA: Rated PG-13 (for mature thematic material, disturbing images, and some sensuality)
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Directed by: Takashi Shimizu
  • on IMDb
  •    5.5/10
“I don't even know what to think anymore.”
- Amber Tamblyn as Aubrey Davis

Those pale ghosts are back to bother some more people in The Grudge 2 opening this weekend. Unfortunately for them, they have run out of new and original ideas to kill those innocent teens that sneak around their house. The only originality comes from director Takashi Shimizu trying to escape the horribly conventional screenplay.

Shimizu does an excellent job of capturing his dark fairytale world of The Grudge on the screen, and that should come as no surprise considering this is his fourth film in the series. Takashi seems to take a more emotional approach for Grudge 2, something the first film didn't seem to really express. This unfortunately doesn't work as well as it should because even though there was more focus on the characters' thoughts and feelings, the scares were bland.

I can't express my hatred for the typical jump scares that occur in every PG-13 horror movie; however, the first film was filled with them, which actually made that film scary. The Grudge 2 has plenty of them, almost stolen exactly from its predecessor. Under the covers, in the shower, the audience has seen this before. The theme of the film, domestic violence, is also the same as the original but is bashed on our head so much that we forget what's scary about it.

It isn't until the last 20 minutes of the film that Shimizu seems to step away from the money powered studio plot and do what he wants, which is what the whole movie should have been. We are taken into the disturbing American version of what happened to Kayako (played by Takako Fuji) and her son Toshio (Ohga Tanaka) in the first film.

As a sort of side note, I had a really interesting experience leaving the theater full of 13-year-old teens and hearing them discuss the film on the way out. In almost the exact scene-by-scene relevance to the plot, The Grudge 2 mimicked The Grudge in editing. Something that I felt made the film interesting to navigate through, even though it was still unoriginal. The teens in the theater seemed to express their dislike of it on the way out. I heard some saying, "it was too confusing and nothing came together." Now, I thought that this was really interesting. The exact target audience, for who this film was created for, didn't get the movie. Ironic?

Last Word:
Even with heartfelt directing and its creepy atmosphere, The Grudge 2 offers nothing new to the franchise. I'm almost positive that Grudge 2 will be number one at the box office this weekend, but regardless, if you are looking for real scares, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is probably playing right next door.

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  • Leland Rogers
    Alot of the reviewers said that "The Grudge 2" was bad, but for me, it was plain creepy and scary and above what I expected. The whole movie was just so, just, bad feeling. It had this vibe that scared people, well, it scared me.
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  • Timothy Baars
    can you kill my Roommate Greg Jacob insted of me Thank you
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