The Grudge 2


Rating 2¾

Directed by Takashi Shimizu

Written by Stephen Susco

Starring Amber Tamblyn,
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Arielle Kebbel, Jennifer Beals, Sarah Roemer and Edison Chen

It could be argued that having already made four Japanese-language versions of ‘Ju-on’, with a fifth one apparently in pre-production, as well as directing a Hollywood remake of ‘Ju-on: The Grudge’, there was really no need for Takashi Shimizu to make a sequel to that widely unloved American rewrite.

In the end, money talked loudest. ‘The Grudge’ was a very big box office hit and ‘The Grudge 2’ was inevitable. This one has nothing in common with ‘Ju-on: The Grudge 2’, whereas the first Hollywood film was a relatively faithful retelling of it’s original source material. Clearly, the intention here was to pave the way for a third film to be set in America. Indeed, a third film has been announced, although not this time with Takashi Shimizu at the helm.

‘The Grudge 2’ doesn’t break any new ground and there is nothing here that isn’t already present in the first film. Shimizu employs his usual technique of cutting up several seemingly unconnected strands and weaving them into an incoherent whole that employs a non-linear timeframe. The story takes precedence over the characters, who are largely reduced to ciphers. I’m not at all sure what purpose there is in making the mother of Karen and Aubrey so unpleasant – confining her love to the older daughter only and making it so obvious – but it doesn’t take up much of the plot.

I’ve watched the film three or four times now and while I don’t claim it is a great film by any means I have enjoyed it more on each occasion. It certainly benefits from the presence of Amber Tamblyn, who is a very likeable and guileless actress.


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