Grudge 2, The

Implausible But Entertaining

Cast: Amber Tamblyn, Edison Chen, Jenna Dewan, Arielle Kebbel
Director: Takashi Shimizu

Plot Summary: A curse over an abandoned house in Japan continues to haunt all those that come in contact with it.

-0One sequel about as good as the original, The Grudge 2 takes up where the previous story left off. The film begins with a strange scene where a woman kills her husband. That comes later…as we shall see. Then we join three schoolgirls in Japan, who visit an abandoned house. Those who saw the first movie know a terrible curse hangs over the place, a “rage” that quite literally comes to supernatural life and kills anyone who is even tangently involved with the place. These three young women who go in…well.

Theirs is one sub-story. The main story focuses on Aubrey Davis (Tamblyn), sister of Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar of the first film). Aubrey is sent to Japan by her shrewish mother to bring Karen back to the United States. Aubrey does meet with her sister, briefly in the hospital, but Karen is soon a victim of the rage/curse. That sends Aubrey off on a quest to find out what happened, aided by Eason (Chen), a journalist who is also caught up in the curse mystery.

Finally, the third sub-plot is revealed: back in Chicago, a family moves into an apartment. We focus on the boy Jake (Matthew Knight), unhappy with the move and his new step-mother. Soon, however, the family drama is eclipsed by a strange family that moves in next door. The young woman is obviously suffering from something, and strange things begin to happen. It’s revealed much later that the cloaked young woman is actually one of the three schoolgirls from Japan, brought back home after suffering a nervous breakdown after her two friends had disappeared and she had brushed, briefly, against the supernatural curse. Not one to let anyone get away, the curse follows her back and lays waste to…well, just about everyone.

That is, in fact, the whole point of the film. The curse and rage is relentless and unstoppable. It can do just about anything, and does not rest in hunting down all that it hates, which is just about everyone on screen. I hope this doesn’t spoil the movie for you, but of course those going to see a horror film want everyone to die. The only thing that matters is when and how. And the movie does deliver on this score: there are plenty of jump moments, and while there is some blood, this movie proves that it can scare quite effectively without buckets of it.

I quite enjoyed this tale. Implausible, yes. But the inevitability, where nothing can stop the curse, is what amused me the most. No hero here with a shining sword to finally kill off the evil. Everybody takes it on the neck (some quite literally!).

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