The Grudge 2
|The Grudge 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Takashi Shimizu|
|Written by||Stephen Susco|
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Edited by||Jeff Betancourt|
Ghost House Pictures
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures (USA)
Universal Pictures (UK)
Roadshow Entertainment (AU/NZ)
108 minutes (unrated cut)
The Grudge 2 is a 2006 American horror film and the second installment in Sony's The Grudge franchise, directed by Takashi Shimizu (director of the Ju-on series) and written by Stephen Susco. The film was produced by Sam Raimi and stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Tamblyn, Edison Chen, Arielle Kebbel, Matthew Knight, Teresa Palmer and Takako Fuji. As stated by Takashi Shimizu, the film is not a remake of any of the Ju-on films and follows a different storyline. Like its predecessor, the film features a plot that is told through a non-linear sequence of events and includes several intersecting subplots.
It was released in North America on October 13, 2006 (Friday the 13th) after being pushed forward a week from the original October 20 release date. It was released in the UK on October 20 and in Australia on October 26, 2006. After moderate success, the film was followed by The Grudge 3 in 2009.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Deleted scenes
- 5 Promotion
- 6 Release
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
As with the first film, The Grudge 2 focuses on the cursed house of the deceased Saeki family. The curse was born when Takeo Saeki murdered his wife Kayako Saeki, son Toshio Saeki and the family cat Mar before being hung by Kayako's vengeful Onryō. Karen Davis, an American careworker, became involved in the curse and attempted to burn the house down to end it, only to be hospitalized.
First Part: Aubrey
Meanwhile, in Pasadena, California, her ill mother hears the news about her, and sends Karen's sister Aubrey to Tokyo to bring her home. Aubrey struggles to speak with the Japanese hospital staff, so a local journalist, Eason, translates for her, having dragged Karen from the house fire, and who is curious about the house himself. Aubrey briefly speaks with Karen (the only survivor besides Maria Kirk) who gets into a panic due to telling Aubrey not to go into the Saeki house and has been strapped to her bed. Karen manages to break free and escapes to the roof, pursued by Kayako's ghost who throws her off the building to her death in front of Aubrey and Eason as they both stare in horror.
The next week, Eason explains the curse to Aubrey, venturing to the house to retrieve Kayako's old diary. However, Aubrey is lured into the house by Toshio, who grabs her and pulls her inside the house, and becomes cursed like Eason. Taking the diary to an associate of his, Eason and Aubrey learn Kayako's mother Mrs. Kawamata was an itako who exorcised evil spirits from cursed people using Kayako as "bait" (spirits are attracted to children as purest souls). Planning to visit Mrs. Kawamata later, Aubrey falls asleep in Eason's apartment whilst he develops some photographs of the Saeki house. However, Kayako emerges from a photo and kills Eason. The next day, Aubrey finds Eason's body and hugs it, crying, but it suddenly becomes Kayako. She then runs out of the darkroom in horror as all the pictures show Kayako's face.
Aubrey flees to find Mrs. Kawamata. She finds the elderly woman in a rural village, but Mrs. Kawamata explains the curse is irreversible. She realizes Aubrey brought Kayako with her, and is suddenly killed by her - a motive which will be revealed later. After calling her mother for a final conversation, Aubrey ventures into the Saeki house. She demands to know the motive of the curse and enters a flashback, seeing Karen walking into Kayako's bedroom, looking for her boyfriend. Aubrey follows her and shouts at her not to enter, but instead meets the evil Takeo Saeki in Kayako's bedroom, reading Kayako's diary. Takeo attacks Aubrey, breaks her ankle and forces her to crawl downstairs just like the original victim, before he catches up with her he seizes her hair, and snaps her neck. Toshio watches as Takeo kills Aubrey, and drowns him just like before. Before she dies, Kayako comes out from another room and looks down at Aubrey with her wide, staring eyes. She felt sorry for Aubrey, as she died the same way she did.
Second Part: Allison
Two years later, three schoolgirls, exchange student Allison, vain Vanessa and her friend Miyuki, visit the Saeki house to challenge the rumors that it is haunted. However, Vanessa and Miyuki trap Allison in the house's closet where Toshio and then seemingly Kayako appear. The girls flee the house and are haunted by the Saeki family. Miyuki is killed by Kayako while staying at a love hotel with her boyfriend, who is showering. When she leans back, feeling something in her sheets, she rests her back on the mirror, then suddenly Kayako reaches out from the mirror behind her and drags her into the glass, and vanished.
Allison and Vanessa are spoken to by the school counselor Ms. Dale, but the distraught Allison runs off, followed by Ms. Dale. Vanessa is terrified when Toshio calls her using Miyuki's phone, and she quickly runs to a public phone booth and tries to call Miyuki from there. However, Kayako's death rattle is heard on the other line, causing Vanessa to drop the phone in horror. Suddenly, Toshio grabs her legs and she is consumed by Kayako's hair wrapping around her face. Allison later speaks with Ms. Dale in her office about the house. She tells Mrs. Dale that the curse has consumed Miyuki, and Vanessa, but discovers that Ms. Dale went to the house and says that there is no curse or nothing there, making Allison believe that she will be Kayako's next victim. Suddenly, Miyuki and Vanessa appear on either side of Allison as ghosts and Ms. Dale becomes a ghost herself and makes a loud moaning noise. Realizing that Ms. Dale has also been killed by Kayako, Allison flees the office.
Third Part: Jake
Six months later, in an apartment block in Chicago, Jake Kimble is disturbed by a strange presence in the building. His father Bill and stepmother Trish are influenced by the curse, Bill becoming convinced that Trish is having an affair. However, his confrontation is short-lived when Trish wallops him with a frying pan and kills him. Sally, best friend to Jake's sister Lacey is also affected and dies. Jake is mostly fearful of the hooded stranger seen in the apartment of the Flemings, Jake's neighbors. The stranger covers the windows in newspaper.
Jake and Lacey came back from school to find their apartment in a mess. Jake finds his father's body, then finds Lacey who was drowned by Takeo's evil spirit and then Trish appears in the tub as well, who tells Jake that it's time for his bath, before Toshio pulls her underwater and vanishes. Fleeing his apartment, he finds out that the Flemings are dead and finally confronts the hooded stranger, reveals to be Allison. It is then also reveals that Allison is still alive, but completely consumed by the curse.
In the final sequence, Allison tells Jake the curse had followed her. Jake's eyes widen with horror when he sees Toshio's eye in Allison's hood. She is then killed by the curse when it pulls her inside her hood. Jake, left alone in the corridor, picks up Allison's discarded hoodie and Kayako emerges from it, uttering her death rattle, and looms towards Jake.
In The Grudge 2, the story of Aubrey is the first, chronologically, being in 2004 and occurring shortly after the events of The Grudge. The story of Allison, Miyuki and Vanessa follow in 2006, following on with the Kimble family a couple of months later. The Grudge 3 picks up shortly after the second film, focusing on the events that occurred in the building where the Kimble family had died.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen Davis, the sole, traumatized survivor of The Grudge.
- Amber Tamblyn as Aubrey Davis, Karen's little sister
- Arielle Kebbel as Allison Fleming, a shy and emotional exchange student.
- Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki
- Kyoka Takizawa as Young Kayako
- Edison Chen as Eason, a journalist who is investigating the Saeki murders
- Sarah Roemer as Lacey Kimble, a cheerleader and Jake's kind and supporting older sister
- Matthew Knight as Jake Kimble, a young boy who suspects something happening in their apartment
- Misako Uno as Miyuki Nazawa, Vanessa's best friend
- Teresa Palmer as Vanessa, the popular bully of Japan International High School
- Ohga Tanaka and Yuya Ozeki as Toshio Saeki
- Jennifer Beals as Trish Kimble, Bill's new wife
- Christopher Cousins as Bill Kimble, Jake and Lacey's father
- Takashi Matsuyama as Takeo Saeki, Kayako's husband who becomes angry after seeing that she has feelings for another man
- Joanna Cassidy as Mrs. Davis, Karen and Aubrey's sick mother
- Eve Gordon as Ms. Dale, Japan International High School's counselor
- Jenna Dewan as Sally, Lacey's neighbor and best friend
- Shaun Sipos as Michael, Miyuki's boyfriend
- Kim Miyori as Nakagawa Kawamata who is Kayako's mother
- Paul Jarrett as Mr. Fleming, Allison's father
- Gwen Lorenzetti as Mrs. Fleming, Allison's mother
The Grudge 2 was announced 3 days after the release of The Grudge in 2004 and was officially fasttracked after a positive box office response with the film grossing $110,175,871. In early January 2005 Takashi Shimizu suggested ideas regarding the film's plot. Ideas included the origin of the curse and new character subplots.
The film was later placed into production hell for almost a year until December 2005, when the first few cast (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Teresa Palmer) members were cast. Other production details were also revealed, including the original scheduled date for principal photography, which was due to begin January 30, 2006, but was postponed until February. Principal photography for The Grudge 2 was held at Toho Studios in Tokyo, Japan and production wrapped up on April 25, 2006. During an interview on Dread Central with Amber Tamblyn, it was reported that sets were created in Chicago, Illinois for Tamblyn to re-shoot several scenes.
Director Takashi Shimizu stated in an interview with Sci Fi Wire': For The Grudge 2, I was going for this mystery that was never there in The Grudge, and I think that's going to fulfill the audience. ... There's a secret about Kayako's childhood life, so that's part of the big mystery. And the other mystery is this grudge will never stop, and it's going to ... spread. And how is it going to get spread? That's another mystery." 
He also stated that: "The Grudge was a complete remake of Ju-on, meaning the storyline was very similar. Basically, it's the same. But Grudge 2 is actually different from Ju-on: The Grudge 2, and I don't think I would have accepted this job if it was going to be the same storyline. And because it was a different story, you know, my motivation was a bit higher, and I actually enjoy doing this." 
The names of the deleted scenes are taken from the DVD's 'Special Feature' section.
- When Closet Door Opens: After Allison was freed from the closet, she found herself with Eason, who seemed somewhat surprised upon seeing her in the closet. Two years earlier, when Eason first entered the house, he found the closet after hearing noises from it. The closet was sealed with tape, and when he removed it, he found Allison in the closet. He was quite surprised to see her, revealing they are both in a time-loop inside the house, within a two-year period. This would make the chronology of the storyline more complicated and would remove the fact of having three different time periods.
- Itako's Film: When Aubrey and Eason were at Itako's apartment, they were watching a documentary film of Japanese exorcisms.
- The Passport: After being terrorized by the ghostly Principal Dale, Miyuki, and Vanessa, Allison ran back to her apartment to pack her belongings and grabbed her passport, trying to get back to Chicago.
- Aubrey's Dream: On the bus, Aubrey was dreaming of having a loving relationship with her mother. However, the dream slowly deteriorated into a nightmare, and her mother coughs up a gland and forces Aubrey to ingest it, much like when Kayako's mother would force her to swallow evil spirits when she was a girl. Aubrey then woke up, finding an old man playing peek-a-boo with no one.
- Alternate Ending & Epilogue: After Jake finds his family dead, he runs to Kagome's apartment. On arrival, he finds his sister dead. Jake finds Allison and instead of Kayako's hand appearing and pulling Allison into her clothing, Kayako crawls from the apartment's stairs and attacks Allison and Jake. Parts of this scene were used in the official trailer for the film.
- In the epilogue, Karen and Aubrey's mother received a delivery from Japan, a box full of Karen's belongings and Kayako's journal. When Mrs. Davis takes a look at it, she finds some black hairs are attached to a page. She drops the journal, and when she picks it up again, finds an eye moving on it. She soon coughs up Kayako's head, which is wrapped in black hair. This tears Mrs. Davis' jaw from her head, killing her. Her face is similar to Yoko's jaw-less face in the first film.
In the unrated director's cut DVD are various shots included that were missing from the theatrical release, including extended shots of Karen's death in which blood spatters all over Eason and Aubrey, and a longer shot of blood gushing out from Karen's head.
Many extra scenes were included in the unrated Directors cut DVD:
- An extended reaction shot of Bill after Trish pours hot cooking oil on his head.
- A whole new frame in which Bill twitches on the floor after Trish hits him with a frying pan.
- The transition to the opening title sequence is different: The theatrical version shows Trish drinking coffee, then the frame fades to white. The unrated DVD shows Bill under the table again, lying on the floor with blood flowing from his head.
- Alternate shots of the schoolgirls: Vanessa, Miyuki and Allison sneaking around the Saeki house.
- In the bathroom of the Saeki House Miyuki notices black water, which starts to bubble. Scared by it, she steps back and is surprised by Vanessa. Vanessa then questions Miyuki, thinking that she feels sorry for Allison which Miyuki denies.
- Before entering Karen's sickroom, a police officer asks Aubrey for her ID.
- After Karen unties herself from the bed, she walks towards the door. Kayako is visibly following her in the background.
- Extra and prolonged shots of Karen's body after Kayako pulls her off the roof of the hospital.
- At the motel scene Miyuki holds the condom longer in her hands.
- Before Aubrey enters Karen's house there's a shot of the moon.
- Prolonged scene of Lacey's friend Sally, who is evidently sick, drinking the regurgitated milk after she previously drinks it and throws it back up.
- As Eason looks for Aubrey in Karen's apartment, Aubrey is sleeping in the theatrical version. In the Directors cut, she is walking towards the door in an extended shot.
- Shows the ghosts of Vanessa and Miyuki in Principal Dale's office for an additional 8 seconds when they appear to Allison.
- Extended scene where Jake follows Allison as she walks into the courtyard.
- When Allison begins to leave the courtyard, Jake looks down and sees the feet of Miyuki and Vanessa's ghosts following her.
- While Allison looks around Karen's place, Eason talks to the expert over the phone and makes an appointment.
- When Aubrey exits Karen's room to leave with Eason, you see Kayako in the background behind Karen's coat rack, which Aubrey observes to find it is a black scarf and a white coat.
- After Eason sees a black smudge on the picture, Kayako slowly comes out of the water staring at him. Kayako tries to grab Eason, but he gets away by sitting down on the floor, moving backwards while Kayako continues to crawl out. Eason gets cornered, then Kayako crawls over and kills him.
- As Aubrey talks with her mother over the phone, the beginning of the scene has been edited differently. The theatrical version begins with Aubrey taking out her phone. The director's cut begins with her mother being awakened by the ringing phone.
On April 1, 2006 a teaser site was launched with details revealing the October 13 release date. Many Database forum sites such as IMDB were swamped with claims that Sony was playing an April Fool's joke. A few days later, the site's authenticity was proven, and claims that it was a hoax were dismissed.
Missing Person File: Jason C
To promote the film, Sony released a missing persons file on its official blog stating a student filmmaker known as "Jason C" disappeared a few weeks after visiting the set of the film. The blog originally broadcast interviews with the film's stars including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Amber Tamblyn but has been taken over by his roommate who filed the report.
Tales from The Grudge
On September 19, 2006 Yahoo! Movies was the first site to release three short films titled Tales from the Grudge with an introduction from one of the producers of The Grudge, Sam Raimi. The series of short expands on the story of The Saeki curse. The shorts also appear on the film's official site Sony Pictures Entertainment, here fans who volunteer their mobile phone number, will get surprise calls from Kayako or Toshio. The films are also available on other film and horror-related websites as part of a wide-reaching and unique digital marketing strategy.
- Part 1, "Hotel": - is the first in the series of shorts. It introduces Ross (played by Daniel Sykes) as he wakes up in a Tokyo hotel room and coughs up quantities of Kayako's black hair. He wakes from this nightmare to the sound of the mobile phone and answers it. The caller is his girlfriend Abby (played by Stefanie Butler), who is safe at home in the U.S. Ross explains that his attempts to investigate the house and the woman with long black hair have led to a dead end. When the phone call ends, we stay with Ross as he takes a photo of himself with his mobile phone. He does not notice as Kayako passes by behind him at the precise moment he takes the shot. He then sends the picture to Abby. Ross then goes to brush his teeth and finds black hair in his toothbrush before being grabbed through the mirror by Kayako.
- Part 2, "School": - is the second short film in which we follow the story of Abby as she ends the phone call from the first short. Abby then proceeds to call her friend, Brooke (played by Ginny Weirick), to ask about plans that evening. When the call ends, Abby receives a photo message from her boyfriend Ross (from the first short). When Abby looks closer at the image, she sees that Kayako is in the hotel room with Ross. Abby attempts to call her boyfriend and warn him, but she only hears Kayako and then it hangs up. Abby looks over at the girl that was sitting beside her to see Kayako.
- Part 3, "House": - is the third short film that overlaps during the events in School. The film opens with Brooke (as introduced in the second short) receiving a phone call from Abby. As the call ends, Brooke agrees to play hide and seek with the child, Josh, whom she is babysitting and chooses a walk-in closet as her hiding place. Brooke soon finds herself trapped and is dragged violently into the underworld by Kayako. Josh then gets up and says "Come out, come out, wherever you are," before Brooke's cell phone begins ringing.
The Grudge 2 premiered at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California on October 8, 2006. During the premiere, the theme park was open to the public and featured a Grudge 2 maze as part of its 2006 Halloween Haunt.
The film was one of three films not shown to film critics on the release date (others included The Marine and One Night with the King). It received notably worse reviews from critics than its predecessor, with a rating of 10% on Rotten Tomatoes (7 out of 72 reviews counted positive) compared to The Grudge's 39%. Metacritic gave the film a score of 33/100 based on reviews from 16 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews".
The film was criticized by from several critics for its confusing plot. Keith Phipps from The A.V. Club stated, "While The Grudge 2 deserves some credit for creating and sustaining a creepy atmosphere, it doesn't matter much when the plot doesn't go anywhere." Pete Vonder Haar from Film Threat stated, "The same problems that plagued the original are on display here. Most notably, the lack of any coherent plot." Paul Debrudge from Variety stated, "The Story is incidental, as auds merely anticipate the scares." Tim Goernert from Joblo stated, "For the most part, I found it really hard to follow the story as well, as there were three of them happening at the same time."
The film has also been criticised as being eye candy. Terry Lawson from the Detroit Free Press stated, "The Grudge 2 is just a mélange of images, some mildly disturbing, but mostly just variations on a theme."
The film opened in 3,211 theatres and was expected to generate $27 Million on the October 13 - 15th weekend but generated $10,018,039 on its opening day and $20.8 million on its opening weekend. It placed number 1 at the box office, beating out The Departed. The film showed poor staying power and earned $39.1 million in North America, making it the first ever film to open over $20 million yet gross less than 50% of its earnings after opening weekend. It also easily set the record for lowest gross of a $20 million opener. It earned an additional $30 million internationally. The movie made $70 million worldwide.
During post-production on the film, Takashi Shimizu discussed ideas of creating another sequel, "During the script meeting, Our ideas didn't go anywhere good, and we couldn't come up with anything interesting to stop the curse, so if that's the case, I would rather just go for something that could never be stopped. But who knows, maybe something can be stopped in The Grudge 3. During Comic Con '06, Sony officially announced plans of creating the sequel. Takashi Shimizu stated he has offered to direct the sequel but would rather produce the film instead. The film was putting out a casting call for new actors to play Kayako and Toshio, since Takako Fuji (Kayako) and Yuya Ozeki (Toshio) have passed on the opportunity. Shawnee Smith, who appeared as Amanda in the Saw series, was one of the major characters in the film.
The following is a list of the film's release dates worldwide.
|Netherlands||October 13, 2006|
|Canada||October 13, 2006|
|USA||October 13, 2006|
|Iceland||October 13, 2006|
|Malaysia||October 13, 2006|
|United Kingdom||October 20, 2006|
|Pakistan||October 21, 2006|
|Philippines||October 22, 2006|
|Australia||October 26, 2006|
|Germany||October 26, 2006|
|Brazil||October 27, 2006|
|Sweden||October 27, 2006|
|India||July 20, 2007|
|Finland||November 3, 2006|
|Croatia||December 7, 2006|
|France||December 27, 2006|
The Grudge 2 was released on DVD and UMD video for the PlayStation Portable on February 6, 2007. Both are available in a rated and unrated director's cut format. The unrated format is 6 minutes longer than the rated version.
Both DVD formats include the following extras:
- Tales from The Grudge (Region 1 Only)
- Cast & Crew reel change montage (Region 1 Only)
- Four Featurettes:
- Holding a Grudge: Kayako & Toshio
- East meets west
- Grudge 2 Storyline Development
- Ready when you are: Mr. Shimizu
- Deleted Scenes
The DVD sold $5,233,327 in its first week much lower than the previous films £9 Million. Its second week it sold a further $3,060,351. Selling $8,293,678 within two weeks. It is estimated to have sold at least $15 Million since, bringing the films total gross to a more pleasing $85 Million.
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- Kayako and Toshio ditch The Grudge 3?
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Grudge 2.|
- The Grudge 2
- The Grudge 2 at AllMovie
- Official Website
- Official Blog
- The Grudge 2 at the Internet Movie Database
- The Grudge 2 Reviews at Metacritic.com
- The Grudge 2 at Rotten Tomatoes
- Review atDread Central