After hearing that her older sister is in a hospital for burning down a house, Aubrey is sent to Tokyo by her mother to bring her back. After things go wrong, she encounters a journalist interested in the story of the house. Unfortunately for Aubrey, she then encounters the same mysterious curse that afflicted her sister. The curse not only takes over Aubrey’s life, but the lives of other victims along the way, including a family in Chicago and schoolgirls in Tokyo.
The Ring brought a new wave of Asian horror cinema to North America. After it’s a success, it was no surprise that more studios would jump on the bandwagon and 2004’s “The Grudge” followed right after. While it did nothing for horror fans, it did manage to scare the young teenage female crowd, as is the case with the sequel. Much like “The Ring Two”, which lacked in scares, entertainment, and a decent script, “The Grudge 2” just so happens to follow the same suit. Instead of trying to add to the original, it blatantly copies it and becomes nothing but a rehash of what made the original half decent.
There is just no originality in this film, everything it uses we’ve seen done before, and done better. It uses the same scare throughout the entire film. After the first 20 minutes, seeing naked albino little children walking slowly and making that eerie sound doesn’t seem so frightening. It seems to rely too much on the jump scare, which gets predictable halfway through. Instead of showing something really creepy and horrific, we get something hiding in the distance scare. Whether it be behind a character in the background, or running across the back somewhere, we have all seen this before.
If you’re a fan of any of the actors associated with this film, please save your money. Sarah Michelle Gellar gets a total of five minutes on the screen and about 3 lines of dialogue, which consist of, “Don’t go in the house” and “Get me out of here”. Getting into spoiler territory here, Gellar suffers the same fate as Jamie Lee Curtis does in Halloween Resurrection, end of the spoilers for you folks. Amber Tamblyn seems to have no idea what she is doing in this film; she only manages to showcase one emotion throughout the entire running time. All she does is have her eyes wide open and full of tears, along with her mouth wide open. That is basically what her performance consists of.
There are some random scenes that make no sense to me at all. A woman who regurgitates milk back into the container is pointless. In fact, that whole story line involving the family is pointless. You know that the Grudge follows the victims wherever they go, so you know who the person is in the apartment building. Is the end supposed to be a big shock moment? The film started repeating scenes from earlier, as if we are supposed to remember them and something big and surprising is about to show up. When it does, you roll your eyes in disappointment, or congratulate yourself for figuring it out 25 minutes into the film. Either or it’s a big bore and what happens immediately after that is laughable.
All the deaths are pretty much the same, the small boy or girl grabbing the victim, and then cut to another scene. Nothing graphic happens to anyone at all, it does have a PG-13 rating after all. You feel absolutely nothing for any of these characters. I was more entertained by the old man playing peek-a-boo on the bus, then anyone else in this film. That is clearly a bad sign.
Where does the film do some good? Well, it handles the three different story lines well. You don’t get too much of one and not enough of the others. The climax of the film was decent as well, inter cutting between the little boy and his family and Aubrey’s story. You do get a small…very small sense of what’s going to happen next feeling. It was also neat to see more of a back-story to the supposed Grudge that was left in the house, but if you would rather have it be a mystery then you’ll be disappointed.
The Grudge 2 adds absolutely nothing new to the genre, it instead slaps it in the face. Nothing original, nothing scary and nothing good about this film ever came up. If you’ve seen the first one, then you’ve seen this one. Only difference is you don’t need to be in the house to have the grudge come after you, you only need to be next to the person. After the original, people actually talked about it, saying how scary that sound was and that they couldn’t sleep for days. You won’t get any of this from the sequel, or probably even the inevitable third film, cause of course it has to end with that “There could be a sequel ending”.
Final Cut: 3/10