The Grudge 2
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTakashi Shimizu
Written byStephen Susco
Based onJu-on: The Grudge
by Takashi Shimizu
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyKatsumi Yanagishima
Edited byJeff Betancourt
Music byChristopher Young
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • October 13, 2006 (2006-10-13)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Languages
  • English
  • Japanese
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$70.7 million[3]

The Grudge 2 is a 2006 American supernatural horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu and written by Stephen Susco. The film is a sequel to The Grudge (2004) and the second installment in the American The Grudge film series. The film stars Arielle Kebbel, Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Beals, Edison Chen, Sarah Roemer, and Sarah Michelle Gellar who reprises her role from the first film. Like its predecessor, the film features a plot that is told through a nonlinear sequence of events and includes several intersecting subplots. It follows Karen's younger sister Aubrey coming to Japan after finding out about Doug's death, a schoolgirl named Allison being haunted by the ghosts of the Saeki family after entering the house with two of her classmates, and a young boy named Jake whose apartment building is haunted by the ghosts.

The Grudge 2 was released in the United States on October 13, 2006, by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film received negative reviews from critics, and grossed $70.7 million worldwide. A sequel, The Grudge 3, was released direct-to-video in May 2009.

Plot

The Grudge is described as a curse that is born when someone dies in the grip of extreme rage or sorrow. The curse is an entity created where the person died. Those who encounter this supernatural force die and the curse is reborn repeatedly, passing from victim to victim in an endless, growing chain of horror. The following events are explained in their actual order, however, the film is presented in a nonlinear narrative.

In 2004, American social worker Karen Davis tried to burn down the Saeki house to stop the curse, but failed, finding herself hospitalised and haunted by Kayako. Karen's younger sister, Aubrey, goes to Tokyo to retrieve her. In Japan, Aubrey struggles to communicate with the hospital staff but a journalist named Eason aids her. Aubrey briefly speaks with Karen, who panics and has to be restrained. Karen is later killed by Kayako in front of Aubrey and Eason. Eason explains the curse to Aubrey, revealing he rescued Karen from the house fire and has been investigating the Saeki murders and surrounding events.

The two go to the house to retrieve Kayako's diary, but Toshio drags Aubrey inside to curse her. Eason takes the diary to an associate, who explains Kayako's mother, Nakagawa Kawamata, was an itako who exorcised evil spirits from visitors and fed them to her daughter. Eason and Aubrey make plans to visit Kawamata. As Eason develops photographs he took of the Saeki house, Kayako emerges from a photo and murders him. After discovering his body, Aubrey travels alone to Kawamata's remote rural home. Kawamata skeptically warns her the curse is irreversible before being killed by her daughter. Aubrey ventures to the house, following an image of Karen inside. She encounters Takeo's ghost, who reenacts the night he discovered his wife's disloyalty and snaps Aubrey's neck.

In 2006, school girls Allison Fleming, Vanessa Cassidy and Miyuki Nazawa break into the house on a dare. Allison is locked in the closet and encounters a ghost resembling Kayako (revealed to be Aubrey at the end of the film), but the girls escape. After Miyuki and Vanessa are consumed by the curse, Allison speaks with school counsellor Ms. Dale about the curse, but Dale denies its existence, revealing she went to the house and is actually a ghost herself. Allison is haunted by the ghosts of her friends and she eventually flees back to Chicago, where she stays with her parents.

The Kimbles move into an apartment block in Chicago. A young boy named Jake is disturbed by a strange presence in the building brought about by a hooded stranger who covers windows with newspaper. Jake's father Bill and stepmother Trish are influenced by the curse: Bill, possessed by Takeo's spirit, suspects his wife of having an affair, and she bludgeons him with a frying pan. Jake and his sister, Lacey, return from school, but Jake finds his family are all dead. He runs into the hooded person, revealed to be Allison, who explains the curse followed her. Kayako appears inside Allison's hood, finally taking her, and then emerges to assault Jake.

Cast

Main article: List of The Grudge characters

Production

Principal photography took place at Toho Studios[4] in Tokyo, Japan and production wrapped up on April 25, 2006. During an interview on Dread Central with Amber Tamblyn, it was reported that sets were created in Chicago for Tamblyn to re-shoot several scenes.[5]

Takashi Shimizu said in an interview with Sci Fi Wire, "For The Grudge 2, I was going for this mystery that was never there in The Grudge and I think that's going to fulfill the audience. ... There's a secret about Kayako's childhood life, so that's part of the big mystery. And the other mystery is this grudge will never stop and it's going to ... spread. And how is it going to get spread? That's another mystery."[6] He also clarified that "The Grudge was a complete remake of Ju-on, meaning the storyline was very similar. Basically, it's the same. But Grudge 2 is actually different from Ju-on: The Grudge 2 and I don't think I would have accepted this job if it was going to be the same storyline. And because it was a different story, you know, my motivation was a bit higher and I actually enjoy doing this."[6]

Release

Shimizu and Tamblyn cutting the ribbon at the premiere of The Grudge 2.

The Grudge 2 premiered at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California on October 8, 2006. During the premiere, the theme park was open to the public and featured a Grudge 2 maze as part of its 2006 Halloween Haunt.[7]

Marketing

Sony employed various methods to promote The Grudge 2. On April 1, 2006, a teaser site was launched with details revealing the October 13 release date. On September 19, 2006, Yahoo! Movies was the first site to release three short films titled Tales from the Grudge with an introduction from one of the producers of The Grudge, Sam Raimi. The series of shorts expands on the story of the Saeki curse.[8] The shorts were directed by Toby Wilkins (director of The Grudge 3) and written by Ben Ketai.

Home media

The Grudge 2 was released on DVD and UMD video for the PlayStation Portable on February 6, 2007.[9] The film debuted on Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2020.[10] It grossed $8.5 million in home sales.[11]

Reception

Box office

The Grudge 2 opened in 3,211 theaters and was projected to generate $27 million across the October 13–15 weekend[12] but generated $10,018,039 on its opening day[2] and $20.8 million on its opening weekend. It placed number one at the box office, beating out The Departed. The film grossed $39.1 million in the United States and Canada, with $31.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $70.7 million.[3]

Critical response

The Grudge 2 was not screened in advance for critics.[13] On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 12% of 78 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 3.6/10. The website's consensus reads: "A diminished sequel that makes even less sense than The Grudge 1"[14] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 33 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews.[15]

The film was criticized by several critics for its confusing plot. Keith Phipps from The A.V. Club wrote, "While The Grudge 2 deserves some credit for creating and sustaining a creepy atmosphere, it doesn't matter much when the plot doesn't go anywhere."[16] Pete Vonder Haar from Film Threat found "[t]he same problems that plagued the original are on display here. Most notably, the lack of any coherent plot."[17] Paul Debrudge from Variety stated, "The story is incidental, as auds merely anticipate the scares."[18] Tim Goernert from JoBlo.com "found it really hard to follow the story as well, as there were three of them happening at the same time."[19]

References

  1. ^ "The Grudge 2 (15)". British Board of Film Classification. October 5, 2006. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Box Office Mojo (October 16, 2006). "Grudge 2 production budget". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2006.
  3. ^ a b "The Grudge 2 (2006) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Archived from the original on March 28, 2023. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  4. ^ Horror.com (October 6, 2006). "Filming at Toho Studios". Horror.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2006. Retrieved October 6, 2006.
  5. ^ Dread Central (September 10, 2006). "Grudge 2 will reshoot". Dread Central. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2006.
  6. ^ a b Sci Fi (September 10, 2006). "Director discusses Grudge 2". Sci Fi. Archived from the original on June 27, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  7. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 10, 2006). "Knott's holds a Grudge". Variety. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  8. ^ Yahoo Movies (September 20, 2006). "Yahoo Movies screening 3 short films". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
  9. ^ McCutcheon, David (December 12, 2006). "Grudge 2 DVD Due". IGN. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "The Grudge 2 Blu-ray (United Kingdom)". Archived from the original on May 10, 2023. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  11. ^ "The Grudge 2 (2006) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Archived from the original on March 28, 2023. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  12. ^ Rotten Tomatoes (October 13, 2006). "Box Office Guru Preview: Grudge Reborn at Box Office". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on February 9, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  13. ^ Rotten Tomatoes (October 13, 2006). "Grudge 2 not screened for critics". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  14. ^ "The Grudge 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 27, 2023. Edit this at Wikidata
  15. ^ "The Grudge 2". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved November 27, 2023.
  16. ^ Phipps, Keith (October 13, 2006). "The Grudge 2". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on October 25, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  17. ^ Vonder Haar, Pete (October 13, 2006). "The Grudge 2". Film Threat. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  18. ^ Debrudge, Paul (October 13, 2006). "The Grudge 2". Variety. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2006.
  19. ^ Goernert, Tim (October 13, 2006). "Review: The Grudge 2". JoBlo.com. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2006.