Sarah Michelle Gellar
Trivia Sony Pictures green-lit this sequel just three days after The Grudge was released.
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The Grudge 2 (2006)
26th Oct 06
Two years after the original film's events, Karen's sister Aubrey finds herself affected by the same curse. But what has this to do with the families in Chicago, the photo journalist in Hong Kong and three school girls from Tokyo?
With the US remake of The Grudge grossing over $110million in the States alone it came as no surprise that a sequel would be fast-tracked into production. With its cursed house, a small boy in ghostly white who yells a lot and a girl with far too much hair lurking around, the American remake of The Grudge made a lot more sense to me than the Japanese version and made for a fun night out.
Reviews have not been so kind to the follow-up and neither has the box office when compared to the original's figures, taking just $31.8million in two weeks, a figure less than the $39million the original took in just three days. Directed by Takashi Shimizu, director of the original series and the American versions, The Grudge 2 is not a remake of his Ju-on: The Grudge 2 following instead a completely different storyline or in this case, three different storylines all of which are incoherent and frankly just a mess.
After Sarah Michelle Gellar's Karen completes her contractual obligation and disappears from the franchise we are left with her furrowed-browed sister Aubrey Davis (Amber Tamblyn) moping around the place who frankly begs to be killed off as soon as possible. That she isn't and we have to see her whiny face for another hour and a half feels like a real endurance test. There is another plotline that involves an American family that you don't really get to know or have any empathy for. The only thing interesting about them is seeing Flashdance's Jennifer Beals and being able to remark on how well she is aging. The most effective of the three stories is that of three schoolgirls in Japan who visit the spooky old house where it all started and then wonder why creepy things happen around them.
Despite being a bit of a mess The Grudge 2 somehow manages to maintain a creepy undercurrent even when what you are watching makes absolutely no sense at all. There is the odd moment that works such as the cursed Kayako popping out of a developing photo to claim another victim but overall people come and go and odd things happen all adding up to an ending that is a big ”so what?” that screams out that there will definitely be another instalment sometime soon. Whether you will still have an appetite for more after this duff offering is another matter completely.
1st Nov 04 Above all though, it is the relationship between John and Laura Baxter which is the film’s central focus throughout, and the gradual disintegration of their relationship amidst a haze of grief.