Plot: Three interwoven stories about a terrible curse. A young woman encounters a malevolent supernatural force while searching for her missing sister in Tokyo; a mean high school prank goes horribly wrong; a woman with a deadly secret moves into a Chicago apartment building.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Solid but Not Effective Sequel
Story: The Grudge 2 starts with the similar start as the last film with a strange unanswered event before introducing us to three school kids from the International school Allison (Kebbel), Miyuki (Uno) and Vanessa (Palmer) who like all school kids like to investigate haunted houses. While in the house they get a visit from the ghostly spirit who has been unleashed once more and tell us the plot of the first movie.
To keep things confusing Aubrey (Tamblyn) the sister of Karen (Gellar) has to go to Tokyo to bring her sister back home only to find her under police watch. To complete the third part of our story we go back to meet Trish (Beals) and Bill (Cousins) who are just moving in together with Bill’s kids Lacey (Roemer) and Jake (Knight).
After Karen falls to her death Aubrey teams up with a journalist Eason (Chen) to investigate the house while the school girls find themselves haunted by the spirit.
The Grudge 2 is a film that does way too much for the time required, we have to follow three storylines with two having next to no contact with the research to the haunting side of the story. We have way too many characters to keep up with which doesn’t help because just as we start following one we jump to the next. I did like that we took the action outside of the house but then we also lose all of the special feeling behind the original. I will also point out this kind of just ends without given enough time to the stories to end with enough closure.
Amber Tamblyn: Aubrey is the sister of Karen from first film, she has been sent to Tokyo to bring her sister back home to America but it isn’t long before she finds herself having to investigate the house where the events took place after what looks like her sister’s suicide. Amber is good in this leading role without being fully stand out due to screen time.
Arielle Kebbel: Allison is a school girl that gets tricked into going in the house as a form of proving herself to be tough to a couple of fellow students. In the house she meets the spirit and spends her time in terror from the hauntings. Arielle is good but spends most of the film in her freaked out stage.
Jennifer Beals: Trish is the new wife or partner of Bill who is moving in with his family, we see what she does in the opening scene. Jennifer is solid in this role showing the caring side as well as the darker side.
Edison Chen: Eason is a journalist that works with Aubrey to uncover the truth about the curse on the house, he is being haunted at the same time and knows it is a race against time. Edison is solid in this role helping to fill in the gaps needed in finish the potential story.
Support Cast: The Grudge 2 has a supporting cast that does include a few actresses who have gone onto bigger and better things with Teresa Palmer, Jenna Dewan both getting a steady horror scene under their belts. All of the supporting cast do a good job by making the victims feel like we just don’t know who will be the next victim.
Director Review: Takashi Shimizu – Takashi keeps the scare factor but overcomplicates the story.
Horror: The Grudge 2 still has great scares being used through the film.
Thriller: The Grudge 2 doesn’t give us enough time to each story to pull us fully into the story.
Settings: The Grudge 2 decides to move the settings to everywhere in Tokyo which really doesn’t help the concept of the story.
Special Effects: The Grudge 2 has good effects to create the horror being used.
Suggestion: The Grudge 2 is only going to be one to try, it just doesn’t have the full effects of the original. (Try It)
Best Part: Basement footsteps.
Worst Part: Too many stories going on.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: Has one.
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Budget: $20 Million
Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes
Tagline: What Was Once Trapped, Will Now Be Unleashed
Overall: Solid but just not effective enough horror.