Ju-On: The Grudge 2

Ju-On: The Grudge 2

Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003)

A young actress chronicling the tragic and grotesque history of the Saeki house may be the curse’s next victim – to say nothing of her unborn child.

Kyoko and her fiance, Masashi, are driving home after the taping of Kyoko’s television show, in which she and her crew documented the events of the first film and the history of the Saeki house and its curse.  The curse, though, seems to have followed them,  causing a crash which leaves a comatose Masashi in the hospital and Kyoko dealing with the trauma of a miscarriage – a miscarriage which later appears to have never happened as she finds that she is still pregnant months later.  As the rest of the story unfolds in the same non-linear fashion as the first film, the rest of Kyoko’s crew meet their own ghastly fates as the curse’s evil spreads.  Meanwhile, Kyoko questions the nature of her own unborn child.  Frantically, she and her director try to unravel the curse before it’s too late and Kyoko unleashes a new hell upon the earth.

Like the original, this film is a victim of its own conceit: it tries so hard to be innovative in its storytelling that it doesn’t stay true to its story.  It is, however, superior in that there is an underlying story and Kyoko provides a thread which can be better and more satisfyingly followed than any of the characters in the first film.  References to the first film, including some of the original victims, muddy the waters at times however and the film becomes all the more confusing for it.

If you liked the original, this is more of the same.  Kayako’s spirit is already veering dangerously close to Freddy Krueger territory with her unconventional kill scenes, but the creepy factor is still high.  Also, one of the vignettes provides the creepiest and best “haunting story” of the franchise to date (watch it at 12:27am and you’ll see), so this film is a little easier to watch and get scared by.  I’ll give it an extra half star or so over the first film.  Begrudgingly.

Stars: 3/5


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