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The rage of Kayako and her son Toshio continue in this sequel to
"Ju-On: The Grudge." Creepier and scarier than the first film, Ju-On 2
begins with a young couple and a tragic car accident which leaves a
pregnant television star named Kyoko devastated. With her fiancé in a
coma and her unborn baby supposedly lost, she continues with her
blossoming career in horror films. But when she agrees to appear in a
pseudo-documentary about the "haunted house" where Kayako and Toshio
still "reside," the virus of the Grudge begins anew. Soon, everyone
involved with the production is missing or dead, and Kyoko, who has
recently been informed that her baby is not lost after all, begins to
realize that what she is carrying may not be hers at all.
Ju-On 2 is definitely much more scarier than its predecessor. Disturbing sound effects, jerky camera movements and one dizzy nightmarish scene after another literally left me reeling, feeling as confused and freaked out as the characters in the film. There are some great visual effects here; Kayako and her wild hair spread over a ceiling, tendrils dropping down into lethal nooses; a wig come to hideous life and the ghostly blue Toshio staring out of the darkness. The ending was a work of morbid art, leaving me quite stunned. "Ju-On 2" has proved beyond a doubt that sequels are not always a bad thing, and sometimes, they're even better!
By now, most audiences will be fairly familiar with the Japanese series
of films known as Ju On: The Grudge; the phenomenally successful saga
that began with the straight to video projects Ju On: The Curse, parts
1 and 2 - in which jealousy and adultery in a quaint Japanese suburb
leads to an awful murder that marks the house for anyone who
subsequently enters it - right the way through to the larger-budgeted
Hollywood remake of the film and it's equally glossy sequel. Subsequent
films following on from The Curse have taken the initial murder as
their starting point and created around it a film of loosely connected
horror vignettes, mostly in which a series of hapless characters end up
in the film's iconic haunted house and then find themselves marked for
death by the two most prominent apparitions of the story.
If you have already seen the American re-make of The Grudge with Sarah Michelle Geller then there's a good chance that this follow up to the Japanese original will come as something of shock. Unlike its US counterpart, this grudge features no real central character and has no real plot development (at least, not in the traditional sense). I personally don't see this as a bad thing, as it allows director Takashi Shimizu to concentrate on crafting a number of scenes of gripping high tension - as the collection of disparate innocents (this time a TV crew shooting a horror film based upon the events of the original film) who unknowingly come into contact with the infamous house and then must come to terms with the unexplainable horror that is happening all around them. However, viewers who look for things like narrative closure, explanations of plot developments and something approaching a hero that they can root for might be sorely disappointed.
As I mentioned above, this version of The Grudge instead strings together a series of inter-woven scenes that establish the significance of the curse whist setting up a number of fantastic, edge-of-your seat moments of haunted house horror. This isn't a gritty gore-fest with annoying, smug, ultra-cynical characters (as seems to be the trend with much contemporary horror - think Wolf Creek, Hostel, Cabin Fever, The Hills Have Eyes remake and 28 Weeks Later) but rather, the kind of horror that should appeal to anyone who has had to walk home late at night through an empty park and felt the presence of someone (or something) following closely behind. Your heart starts racing as you quicken your step and become convinced that you can hear footsteps rapidly approaching from the left of your shoulder! When you finally pick up the courage to turn around and look, you realise your mind has been playing tricks on you, but the thrill was still heart-stopping regardless.
I prefer this kind of horror, which is why I'm such a huge fan of the horror films coming out of Japan, China and North Korea; great works like The Eye trilogy, Wishing Stairs, Abnormal Beauty, Premonition, Infection, Chaos, A Tale of Two Sisters and Takashi Shimizu's own Grudge-follow up Reincarnation. It's slow moving and slow building, almost ambient even; often coming at you from the rear speakers rather than full and on in your face, which for me, really creates a great, eerie atmosphere that works perfectly if you're watching it at 1:30 AM and have to pause for a toilet break and to let the dog out to stretch her legs.
Unlike a lot of his American contemporaries, Takashi Shimizu realises that horror isn't about what you see, but what you don't see, and with this in mind he saves any prolonged glimpses of our ghostly antagonists until right towards the very end. He also manages to create a wonderful feeling of isolation, alienation and hopeless emptiness; not only from the haunted house so central to the story, but even in the brightly-lit suburban streets, schools, office blocks and apartment buildings that our characters inhabit. The film is also shot very simply and traditionally, with none of the hyper-cutting and frantic camera movements of western horror, which again, gives the Grudge a more believable and authentic feeling that only heightens the senses of horror and tension. This is also helped by the wonderful performances of the cast who manage to ably convey the right sense of fraught emotion without descending into screaming histrionics.
For me, The Grudge 2 is easily as great the first instalment; although some viewers may find the more outrageous elements of the closing scenes to be a little too much (I'm guessing the planned third instalment will pick up on and explain some of these ideas, but we'll have to wait and see). This is horror for those who want chills rather than spills, and those who like to invest some serious time in something that is slower, more deliberate and more dramatic than the usual stalk and slash type stuff (not that I don't love that kind of horror as well, but it's nice to have an intelligent alternative). As mentioned previously, there will be some viewers who won't want to invest their time in such a film that has no obvious sense of narrative and no single identifiable character, but at the end of the day, that's their decision. But they're clearly missing out!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If you have a pure affection for scary scenes you may find this movie
pretty enjoyable. But most of us are human beings with a power to
reason and that's where this film has completely failed us!
To start with I really don't know what this "grudge" means despite the explanation in the film. There's completely no logic.
Alright, a boy and an apparently innocent and good looking woman ( even in her ghost look) was brutally killed. They have turned into ghosts. I can take that. But why have they at the same time lost their minds and start murdering everyone they can get hold of? What are they up to? And can anyone tell me how the hell can ghost be reborn as human again? Is the reborn girl a hybrid inborn with the aptitude of pushing her mom down the stairs at the age of 5?
I mean, every day there are brutal murders to innocent people everywhere and these islands of grudges set up could have erased the human race in months if according to this"grudge" principle. What would the world be like if it is filled of grudged ghosts without humans?
The storyteller must give us humans some logic to chew on, some codes to comprehend ghosts' behavior, and some clues to untie the knot! This had not happened in the film. Instead, Shimizu untiringly performs the same trick over and over again , resulting in death after death from the same predators, and in very similar manners, and for no reasons.
Even if the logic is to be revealed in the later sequel it will be too late. We have to have a reason to bring us through these 3 hours of mutilation of human beings by angry ghosts to prevent us from becoming angry audience, and ending up having grudges against the movie.
Man, we need a storyline to go on! Not just scary scenes!
"Ju-on:The Grudge 2" is the sequel to the smash-hit "Ju-on:The Grudge",
and is the fourth installment into the "Ju-on" series. Like it's
precursor, it is told in chapters. All the chapters are somehow
connected to the curse of the grudge.
Were you disappointed by "Ju-on:The Grudge"? Well, if you were (like me), you'll be surprised. This sequel was MUCH better than the original in almost every aspect. The scares were more scarier, there were more scares, tenser scenes, a LOT better acting, a much better story, and a more solid plot. I was really surprised by how good this sequel was. Ever heard of the old sequel rule? "Sequels are never as good as the originals"? Well, I' happy to say that that doesn't apply here.
So to sum it up, I really enjoyed this movie. It was a major improvement on the original film. If you're a fan of the Ju-on series, you have to watch this.
I always get kind of agitated when producers feel a need to make
sequels. I have never seen one that actually mattered. This one didn't
Having said that I do feel a need to actually recommend this Ju-On part. Besides the obvious rerun of old tricks, some of the new material is actually quite interesting and well-thought of. For example the thuds on the wall (that the couple hears every night around 12.30)are later explained in an eerie way. The wig-on-the-floor-thing was nicely done.
Finally, I thought the birth was original as well as the ending of the movie.
All in all entertaining (for a "Part two" movie) but not a MUST SEE.
While driving on the road, the pregnant horror movies actress Kyoko
Harase (Noriko Sakai) and her fiancé have a car crash caused by the
fiend of Toshio, and Kyoko loses her baby and her fiancé stays in coma.
Kyoko was cursed together with all the television crew when she hosted
a show in the haunted house where Kayako was brutally murdered by her
husband. While each member of the team dies or disappears, Kyoko is
informed that she has a three and half month fetus in her womb.
"Ju-on: The Grudge 2" is a very creepy and scary horror movie, based on a Japanese legend, and disclosed in a non-linear screenplay. In the beginning of this sequel, the explanation of the curse is presented again. When a person is killed in a violent way, his or her death generates a curse that will stay in the place where the crime took place. If another person visits the haunted place, he or she will be chased by the fiends till death generating another curse.
Like the first one, this movie impresses because there is no bloody scene, only a tense psychological exploration of the inner fear of human beings for the unknown. The story is very simple and low paced, there are very few special effects, a great use of sound, no gore, but the creepy atmosphere is really frightening. I startled many times while watching this film. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Ju-On, O Grito 2" ("Ju-On, The Scream 2")
I'm happy to say that, after a slight disappointment with 'Ju On: The
Grudge,' the series returns to form with this installment.
Just when you thought Takashi Shimizu had done everything there was to do with 'Ju On,' this third sequel (and second theatrical film) takes things in a slightly new direction...and gives us some of the most terrifying scenes yet.
Yes, Toshio and his Mum are still on the prowl. Yes, the plot is told in the same disjointed segment style. But, without spoiling the surprises, some new and unexpected twists are added to the mythology. And just as expected, there are plenty of images and sounds that will haunt you till your dying day.
I can't wait to see what Shimizu has in store with the fifth film (the American installment) and dread the thought of seeing these images on a big screen!
This has got to be THE most scary film I have ever seen. Even more scary than the original The Ring. A must see if you like having you adrenaline racing. It starts as an ordinary, not-so-interesting kind a movie, but it only takes 15 min before you realize there is a deeper meaning behind it all. After that its all fear, and you soon begin to fear everything.
This film is the scariest film i've ever seen in my whole life. It is miles scarier than the first one. Usually when you watch a sequel to a really good film it is crap. This film is such an exception to that rule it is unbelievable. This film takes J-Horror to a whole new level. The story is very good although a bit confusing with the time jumps and everything, but you can kind of get the gist of it before the movie ends. The Last scene in the hospital has stayed in my mind. It totally freaked me out. I was disappointed that they didn't have a lengthy stairs scene as that is my favourite scene from any horror movie ever. If you were scared at the first film you will be terrified at this one.
Smart Far Eastern horror uses chills, psychology and subtle
intelligence to place itself a cut above many of its peers.
Ju-on 2 is obviously a sequel to Ju-on (The Grudge), a fairly reasonable if perhaps not brilliant chiller from the Orient, in which a murder had caused the house it occurred in to host a curse as a result of the slaying.
Following on from this, Ju-on 2 uses the same trick as seen in the likes of Magnolia whereby a bunch of victims, related to one another in some way, suffer at the hands of said curse.
Indeed, this is much like a compendium of tales, focusing on around 6 victims whose lives becomes inextricably linked as a result of circumstance, all of which harks back to the original house.
However, rather than outlining the finer details of the plot, it seems fairer to explain *why* this is such a good effort from Asia compared to so many of its really rather derivative kin such as Phone, Eye etc.
Certainly this also has more than a homage to Ring, and could be tenuous accused of slight plagiarism given many of the utterly blatant similarities, so what makes it a cut above the others?
Well, one of the main strengths here is some fantastic psychological trickery. The direction itself is fantastically conducive to it, and without giving away the exact nature of the manipulation of the viewer going on here, it's fair to say that it does a pretty good job of conveying the same kind of 'wrongness' that Ring exuded. There are plenty of moments here which create a genuine chill such is their effective defying of how we believe the laws of physics and biology work. When an event goes against all the worldly beliefs you have set in stone, it makes you take notice. Furthermore, given the distinctly psychological nature of much of Ju-on 2, it truly comes across as utterly twisted like some kind of awful nightmarish trip (Unlike Audition's frankly baffling last 3rd) but one which doesn't leave the viewer confused.
There are also a number of subtle tricks in evidence, many of which don't become apparent till later, all of which genuinely gathered an impressed reaction from me.
I am not going to pretend this is a terrifying movie, because to me, while there were certainly moments which got the adrenaline going a little, it is not exactly all that scary if you're a fan of these movies. Basically, we've seen it all before.
Nonetheless, as critical and harsh as that sounds, it still manages to entertain extremely well despite it, because it uses its own unique brand of originality to compliment the obvious nods to other movies.
Certainly one of the best Eastern horrors I've seen.
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