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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE GRUDGE 2 (Unrated Director's Cut)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 108 minutes, deleted scenes, behind the scene featurettes, cast/crew montage reel/ Tales From The Grudge short films, previews

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English, French 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, French

STUDIO: Columbia Pictures/ Ghost House Pictures/ SPHE

RELEASE DATE: 2-7-2007

THE GRUDGE 2 is a mess. The first one I really liked (as in the unrated Extended Director's Cut), but somehow producer Taka Ichese got it right that an American production is like a ship with too many captains. THE GRUDGE 2 suffers from that very thing. The first film was able to blend J-Horror and American Horror somehow where the sequel finds the two to be incompatible.

The plot with the high school girls in Japan just sucks. The storyline in a Chicago apartment building connects to that one and yet it sometimes is interesting while failing at other times. The only story strand that tries to work is the one with Karen's sister, Aubrey (JOAN OF ARCADIA's Amber Tamblyn), and yet it gets worse and tries my patience more and more as it goes along. THE GRUDGE 2 has to be the worst film I've seen on DVD in 1007 so far. I'm just amazed that director Shimizu signed off on directing this mess. I know he likes to leave things unexplained, but this film just leaves no hope for the characters. They're racing to futility. I would have loved to see the little kid and his teenage sister start to try and make some sense of what is going in the apartment building instead of just being so underdeveloped. THE GRUDGE 2 is a waste of talent. I wanted Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) around for more screen time before she meets her untimely end after about three scenes. Don't get me started on other characters that are introduced only to be killed off quickly. How can I feel for the characters if they're not around for long enough or have the script giving them something to do?! I think rather watch the director's cut of THE GRUDGE again instead of this poor attempt at a sequel.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

East Meets West Featurette

Grudge 2: Storyline Development Featurette

"Ready When You Are, Mr. Shimizu" Featurette

Holding a Grudge: Kayako & Toshio Featurette

Out of the four featurettes, the storyline development one shows how the script for the sequel went so wrong. Again, too many captains.

4 Deleted Scenes and an alternate ending/epilogue (that fits the movie better) are included while Tales from the Grudge (with Introduction from Sam Raimi) are three ghastly terrible short films to tie in with THE GRUDGE 2. It's amateur hour indeed. The Cast & Crew Reel Change Montage shows all the cast and crew involved. Previews included on the DVD include GHOST RIDER, SPIDER-MAN 3, CASINO ROYALE, PREMONITION, CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER, and THE GRUDGE

FINAL ANALYSIS: Run far away from this crappy sequel and watch the first one instead. It just had too many cooks.

this review is (c)3-2-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com