Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003) Review

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Ju-On The Grudge 2 (2003): 3 out of 10. When horror franchises go back to the same well, they often attempt to at least make superficial changes in the principal character’s circumstances. (It’s Jason, but he is in 3-D. It’s Jason, but he is in New York. It’s Jason, but he is in space.) Now I’m not suggesting these efforts actually worked. (Leprechauns in space or Children of the Corn in the ghetto are two abominable examples but I have to give the Halloween people credit when their serial killer Michael Myers went off to do Wayne’s World)

However, at least these franchises made the appearance of some effort. Ju-On the Grudge 2 is actually the fourth or fifth Ju-on movie depending on who is counting. And it is the exact same house and the exact same ghosts, and the whole grudge part makes even less sense than ever. (Even the Amityville Horror series had the decency to leave the damn house eventually) To make matters worse, we have had approximately 100 white screeching ghost chicks with black hair Asian horror films since the first one.

It seems like every Asian culture is raping their heritage to come up with their own home-grown spook. (Strangely enough, one of the recent knockoffs I saw Thailand’s Ghost of Mae Nak used Final Destination death scenes rather than the black-haired white faced knockoff to get scares. Even the Johnny come lately films realize that this genre is spent.) The ghosts once again are the marshmallow boy and the scary woman with hair of death. They shoot the movie Memento like completely out of order. This does not help matters. The death scenes are generally not shown but suggested which can add to the confusion. By the time you figure out what is going on, the movie is half over. Some effective scares, but the wig bit in the middle and the Omen stuff at the end had me laughing with disbelief.

Large amounts of silence and a ridiculously slow pace will challenge even the most caffeinated viewers to stay awake. The principal characters don’t help as they are pretty boring and lack any personality or spark.

Ju-On the Grudge 2 is the same movie as the others, but with less. This sequel is for a fanatic or completest only.

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