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The Grudge 2
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The Grudge 2 (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"In Tokyo, a young woman (Tamblyn) is exposed to the same mysterious curse that afflicted her sister (Gellar). The supernatural force, which fills a person with rage before spreading to its next victim, brings together a group of previously unrelated people who attempt to unlock its secret to save their lives."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 14 March 2009 My Rating: out of 5


Amber Tamblyn ventures to Tokyo to find her disturbed sister (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and bring her home to their ailing mother (Joanna Cassidy). Meanwhile, we have two other ghostly story strands going on; Shy, ugly duckling Arielle Kebbel is dared by some mean girls to enter the charred haunted house of the previous film, and all the girls soon find themselves plagued by nightmares. Then, back in the US, Jennifer Beals plays a MILF who has her own curse to deal with, after moving into a new apartment.

The J-horror genre, and subsequent Americanised remakes are not my favourite things in the world. At all. In fact, I’m sick to death of them. However, the “Grudge” films, whether in original form or Americanised, are founded on a concept far more interesting than the “Ringu” series. That said, this flick is a bit lesser than its predecessor (which I found slightly better than the original. Confused? Yeah, it’ll do that to ‘ya!). For starters, Amber Tamblyn is distractingly awful (Is she related to Russ Tamblyn? If so, that’d explain a few things...), and sadly, our main character. And there’s little new here, there’s even a repeat of the shower scene, but with Aussie Teresa Palmer instead of Gellar.

Thankfully, there’s a wonderful sense of dread, maybe even more impressively conveyed than last time. It also starts well, with the Columbia Pictures logo morphing into the long-haired ghost, followed by a scene with Beals that makes me wish that awful “Shirley Valentine” were a J-horror film.

Best of all, unlike the “Ringu” films, these films are actually genuinely creepy. I’m still not keen on these mystery/investigation-based horror flicks, though, unless there’s a deformed, red-cloaked dwarf involved.

It is what it is, and as it is, it’s all very watchable, if a little less so than last time (Is this the most confusing review I’ve ever written or what?).

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 24 October 2006 My Rating: out of 5

Another week sees another horror sequel hit cinemas here in the UK and thankfully, it was a vast improvement over the original Japanese sequel.

The film deals with three (apparently separate) story threads. One of them deals with the aftermath of the first film’s climax, in which wee see Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Karen in hospital where her sister Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn) visits her to find out what happened in the house she set alight. We also follow three school girls as they encounter the ‘haunted house’ and an American family who begin acting strangely, along with the rest of the residents in their apartment block.

The Grudge 2 adopts the same non-linear format present in the previous films in the series but thankfully makes things a little clearer by film’s end than the Japanese sequel did. The cast is full of rising stars and familiar faces this time around, and everyone works well together in their respective story segments.

The scares are probably doubled here, but this may be down to the fact that they also play on our expectations, such as a familiar ghost under the duvet sequence which plays out very differently in the end, than one would at first assume.

The film, like its predecessor is aesthetically pleasing, technically impressive and benefits from an even better score from Christopher Young than the first film did. It also manages to sustain interest and builds towards a suitable climax, although in essence it’s a bit pointless as characters seem to be no farther forward in the grand scheme of things, most likely in the hopes that it would make enough cash to warrant a third entry (which it has).

The Grudge 2 is a well made and pleasing sequel which is scary and interesting. It’s not as good as the first film, but they tried some new things out here, and I personally enjoyed it more than the recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel.

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