Unrated Dir: Takashi Shimizu | Sony | 102 min.
Review By: Matt Brighton | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
It’s been a few years since I saw a little movie called “The Ring” and I’ll be the first to admit that that movie scared the hell out of me. So much so that I didn’t even bother to see the sequel. Naturally, when a movie is successful all sorts of copycat movies come out and, wouldn’t you know it, “The Grudge” was one that I lumped into that category. Both movies, however, are derived from the Japanese cinema and were remade into “American” films with Hollywood stars. Having never seen “The Grudge” I felt that I was going into this film with a strike against me. Then again, a good movie (and a good sequel) shouldn’t have to rely on you seeing the first one to really understand what’s going on. Whatever the case, “The Grudge 2” (like its predecessor) does rely on some pretty frightening imagery to make a statement, so for those who are easily scared â€“ you might want to skip this one.
We find Audrey (Amber Tamblyn), the sister of Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar and the main star of the original film) in Tokyo. Karen’s also been affected by this supernatural force that affected her sister and she’s trying to figure out what it is and how to solve the problem. We’re not given a whole lot of backstory as to why this is happening and to whom, though it would be natural to assume if these people would stay out of the home of “the grudge” then their odds of being affected by it would catapult exponentially. Still, we get the obligatory scary scenes with the “bad hair day” ghost and, lest we forget, the kid who meows like a cat (there’s actually a pretty good reason as to why, but I don’t want to give away the secret here). Sarah Michelle Gellar’s role is more of a cameo (hence, she’s credited as and “and” in the credits) showing that she’s moved beyond this role. Any way you slice it, “The Grudge 2” is just not really that good of a movie. Even “The Ring” which scared me, had a meaning and purpose to it. Check out the original Japanese movies that inspired these instead.
Video: How does it look?
Despite the plot, the video for “The Grudge 2” looks pretty darn good. I found most every scene to look very sharp and with minimal edge enhancement. Green is the color of choice here, as nearly every scene has some sort of greenish tint to it. Why? I don’t know, but it seems to be pretty en vogue these days if you’re making a scary movie to give the hue an off color. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is clear, though some scenes do tend to have a bit of movement in them in the background (this is something that doesn’t happen with HD DVD or Blu-ray). Any way you slice it, “The Grudge 2” does look pretty darn good.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included Dolby Digital 5.1 track manages to throw a few curves here and there, but it’s mainly a dialogue-driven track. Naturally, being a horror movie, we can expect some tense moments (mainly before we’re supposed to be scared) and the soundtrack does an adequate job of making the audience spill their popcorn. Still, it’s not one of the best tracks I’ve heard rather just a bit better than average. Like the movie, it’s nothing memorable but it manages to get the job done.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I have to give Sony some credit here; they’re at least giving the viewer a semi-decent supply of extras on this disc. We start off with this being the Unrated version, containing ten more minutes of scenes not shown in theaters. Naturally there’s no commentary track as director Takashi Shimizu doesn’t speak a word of English. But we do have four deleted scenes, and a few featurettes that show the evolution of the movie to screen. We get an introduction by Producer Sam Raimi as well. Is it wrong that I got more enjoyment out of watching the trailer for “Spider-Man 3” than “The Grudge 2”? No.
- (1.85:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: MPEG-2
- Audio: Dolby Digital
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set