Dir: Takashi Shimizu. 2006. 102mins.
The hairy ghost andher bug-eyed little boy work overtime in TheGrudge 2, Japanese director Takashi Shimizu's busy but less effectivesequel to his hit American remake of his franchise-starting J-horror chiller Ju-On.
Thoughoriginal star Sarah Michelle Gellar makes only a brief appearance this timeout, the sequel has already made a decent start in the
In theinternational marketplace, the mostly independent theatrical distributors thathave licensed rights from Mandate Pictures are set to open the sequel throughOctober and November. The original grossed $76.9m outside
Rather thanadapting his own Ju-On 2 for the American market Shimizuworked with Stephen Susco (who adapted the originalfilm) to produce a new script - with three interweaving stories and tangledtimelines - for the
One storyis about an American schoolgirl (Arielle Kebbel, fromTV series Gilmore Girls) in
The storiesmeet towards the end of the film and there's a vague explanation of how thecurse got started as well as a hint of a mother-daughter theme. But, even morethan in the first film, the confusing narrative is really just a thread on whichto hang the creepy appearances of the ashen ghost and her lurking sidekick.
Thephantoms show up much more frequently than they did in the slow-burning
Thethree-story structure makes the film feel repetitive, as characters indifferent settings go through similar hide-and-seek routines with the pastyspooks. After a while, all the breathless whimpering and ghoulish grabbingbegins to blur into a less-than-terrifying whole.
Theperformances are a mixed bag. Tamblyn is quiteaffecting as the younger sister whose inferiority complex drives her search foranswers about the curse. Chen, who was born in
Ghost House Pictures
Sarah Michelle Gellar