Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Grudge 2

After her sister is hospitalized, Aubrey (Tamblyn) travels to Japan to bring her home. Shortly after she arrives, her sister mysteriously dies, so with the help of a Chinese journalist (Chen) she sets off to find out what killed her sister and why. Meanwhile in Chicago, a family moves into a new apartment. But the young son in the family starts hearing strange noises from the next apartment over. Soon later strange events start happening all over the building. Back in Japan, Three girls enter the infamous house, and shortly thereafter strange things start happening to all three of them too. . .

The Grudge 2 is not a remake of Ju-on 2. It is instead an original sequel to the original Grudge. Maybe they should have just stuck to remaking the original. The Grudge 2 is not the worst film I have seen. But its countless flaws keep this from being anything close to good or memorable. Its biggest problem is the amount of “Scares” that they try to put in the film. In fact, that seems to be the biggest problem with American horror films these days, especially remakes. Unlike their original counterparts, they try to cram in way to many scare attempts. In the case of The Grudge 2, instead of giving a small few effective scares carefully placed throughout the course of the film. In almost every scene, someone ends up in a dark room (or phone booth) alone, and, there’s the boy again. Still blue, still sitting somewhere and maybe we’ll get a kitty scream . . . probably! Each of these “scares’ are also sickeningly predictable. As soon as a shot is in place you will know right away when the boy or his mother will show up. Even if you find it scary at first, it gets real old, real fast. I can guarantee that by a half hour into the film you will be tired of it, and not scared. Another grand flaw with this film is its contradicting plot explanation. I will not go into detail to avoid spoilers, but everything they supposedly explained is pretty much erased and we get a much less satisfying explanation. Also the concept of the spreading grudge itself gets taken way too far.

Is there anything positive about this film? Yeah sort of; the film is told through three different intertwining stories. The problem there is that for most of the film you have no idea what is going on or why a dysfunctional family living in Chicago has anything to do with what’s going on in Japan. However, when the three stories come together at the end, it is actually a fairly interesting resolution. However, it does leave the overall story kind of stupid. And there are still more unanswered questions then answered. Fans of Hong Kong cinema might enjoy the small appearance of Edison Chen. It was nice to see him included in the cast. He plays a journalist from Hong Kong who now lives in Japan and is trying to figure out the mystery of the murder suicide which took place in the house. Some may not realize that he is in fact Canadian born, so his English is very fluent. Aside from him, there are really no memorable acting performances in the film.

The Grudge 2 might be worth a viewing, it’s not going to leave an everlasting effect on anyone. But if you enjoyed the first film, you may enjoy this one. Be aware that you will probably be confused throughout the majority of the 100 or so hour run time, and if you really enjoy the story in the first. You may not appreciate where it story goes in the second.

A Film By: Takashi Shimizu



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