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The Grudge 2(2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Takashi Shimizu

Starring:
Amber Tamblyn/Aubrey
Edison Chen/Eason
Arielle Kebbel/Allison
Jennifer Beals/Trish
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Young Aubrey hits Tokyo (Tamblyn) to find out what happened to her "now nutty" sister (Gellar). We then follow her and a group of random peeps as they get infected and affected by a bad case of The Grudge.
THE LOWDOWN
I’m a big fan of Ju On The Grudge and its US remake The Grudge. I trip to their classic ghost stories, boogie to the chilling imagery (Those pasty ghouls own!) and am totally enamored with Director Takashi Shimizu's intoxicating audio/visual style. At the same time, I was the first to say “they’re beating a dead whore” when I heard that a Grudge 2 would soon haunt us. Now that I’ve seen it (and late at that), I’m the last one to say; it’s over!

The Grudge 2 was far from being an awful movie. I mean the flick rolled forward at an even pace, showcased rock solid actors, contained some pretty gripping drama, had some tension going for it and put out at least 3 terrifying moments that had the hairs on my arm curl up, pull out and sprint out the room. Takashi Shimizu rocked and rolled yet another most excellent display behind the camera, milking that subdued creepy shite as good as one can with terrifying sound design lodged in his back pocket to boot. The duder sure knows a thing or four about setting up fear sequences and masterfully executing them for maximum "brrrs". Problem was, I was drunk off my ass when I saw this. No, well I was tipsy…okay I’ll admit it, I was drunk and no amount of Jack Daniels could detract me from the fact that I had seen this story and these scare bits before.

Lets face it, there are just so many times that you can watch a magician pull a rabbit out of his hat and hear him call it magic before you snatch that rabbit away from him, shove it up his ass, and call that magic. The Grudge 2 suffered from the been there done that to death ailment and that decreased its fear factor and my overall involvement in its macabre shenanigans. Sure I got a couple of new groovy tidbits of info about the “curse” and one somewhat kool twist but there wasn't near enough rare meat on this grill to qualify as a novel entry within the series. The story was pretty much identical to the first Grudge! It sure didn’t help matters much that on this round the many characters being spooked were kind of bland. Grounded Aubrey (played by the talented Amber Tamblyn) and sympathetic Allison (tackled by Arrow wet dream Arielle Kebbel) aside I can’t say that I gave half of a chocolate chip cookie about any of the peeps here...not even the kid!

With that booed your way, The Grudge 2 was still a competently made and acted horror effort. I was entertained for the most part and felt swell afterwards. But was it memorable? No. Was there sufficient new juice in its glass for it to stand out of the franchise? Not even close. Does it warrant yet another Grudge sequel? No f*cking way! Time for great man Takashi Shimizu to close his The Grudge nudie mag and move on to new reading material. This tale is mothef*cking done!
GORE
Not really gory (unless a broken foot is gore to you); think more along the lines of spooky imagery.
ACTING
We had a great cast here! Amber Tamblyn (Aubrey) was credible and intense. She was also a great cryer. Edison Chen (Eason) playe dit low key and it worked. Arrow fav Arielle Kebbel (Allison) went against type to tackle an "ugly duckling" role and actually pulled it off. Vulnerable, intense and likeable...LOVED HER! Jennifer Beals (Trish) did what she had to do and called it a day. I misse her Flashdance ripped shirt though. Sarah Michelle Gellar (Karen) hit teh nail on the head within her limited screentime.
T & A
We're treated to teen girls in bras and panties in a locker room scene while the ladies get some buff mutt shirtless.
DIRECTING
In this day and age of quick cut editing and a zillion frames a second, its refreshing to me to watch a dude like Takashi Shimizu go at it. Slow camera movements, long shots, static shots while displaying mucho talent in imbuing all kind of dread filled atmosphere into the game. I love this guy!
SOUNDTRACK
We get a minimalist yet chilling score that backed up the images perfectly.
BOTTOM LINE
Easy to watch, randomly creepy, resourcefully directed and ably acted, you can do worse than locking yourself in the closet with The Grudge 2. I'm happy I saw it, enjoyed it on a passive level and recommend Grudge "completists" to check it out. But it didn't go much further than that. Its overly familiar storyline, its deja vu scares and its failure in bringing enough freshness to the chopping block made sure of that. This should be Kayako's final rumble in my useless opinion, cause she's got nothing left to say.
BULL'S EYE
The role of Vanessa was originally written for Vanessa Lengies, who eventually turned it down to film "My Suicide"; the part still bares her name.

Unlike The Grudge which was a remake of Ju On The Grudge, The Grudge 2 was a stand alone, telling a different story than Ju On The Grudge 2.

Director Takashi Shimizu first made the low budget Ju-on (2000) and Ju-on 2 (2000). Had more money for Ju-on: The Grudge (2003) and Ju-on: The Grudge 2 (2003). Than he remade Ju-on The Grudge for the US with The Grudge (2004) and finally helmed The Grudge 2 (2006) for the US. The man must be Grudged out!

VISIT THE GRUDGE 2 SITE HERE