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|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures (USA)
Universal Pictures (UK)
Roadshow Entertainment (AU/NZ)
108 minutes (unrated cut)
|Box office||$70.7 million|
The Grudge 2 is a 2006 American supernatural horror film and a sequel to 2004's The Grudge, 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, Teresa Palmer, Misako Uno, Matthew Knight, and Takako Fuji. As stated by Takashi Shimizu, the film is not a remake of any Japanese film 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.
In Japanese society, it is said a curse is created when a person dies in the grip of a powerful rage or sorrow. Those who encounter the evil supernatural force are consumed by it, the curse is born repeatedly and spreads. The original victims of the curse, the Saeki family, haunt their Tokyo suburban house as ghosts and kill anyone who enters. Housewife Kayako Saeki was murdered by her husband Takeo after he discovered she loved another man, their son Toshio and pet cat Mar also being murdered, before Takeo was hanged by Kayako’s ghost. In the first film, American social worker Karen Davis tried to burn the house down to stop the curse, but failed, finding herself hospitalised and haunted by Kayako. The film’s chronology is told in a non-linear fashion, taking place in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
Karen’s younger sister Aubrey is summoned by their bed-ridden mother who informs Aubrey of Karen’s situation and sends her to Tokyo to retrieve her. In Japan, Aubrey struggles to communicate with the hospital staff but a journalist named Eason aids her. Aubrey briefly speaks with Karen, who quickly panics, and has to be restrained. Karen later escapes her restraints and flees through the hospital stalked by Kayako, until she makes it to the roof which Kayako throws her off in front of Aubrey and Eason. Eason explains the curse to Aubrey, revealing he rescued Karen from the house fire, and has been investigating the Saeki murders and surrounding events. The two go to the house to retrieve Kayako’s diary, but Toshio drags Aubrey inside to curse her.
Eason takes the diary to an associate, who explains Kayako’s mother Mrs. Kawamata was an itako who exorcised evil spirits from visitors and fed them to her daughter. Aubrey and Eason plan to visit Mrs. Kawamata the next day, but at night, Eason develops photographs he took of the Saeki house, but Kayako emerges from a photo and murders him. Aubrey discovers his body in the morning and travels alone to Mrs. Kawamata’s remote rural home. Kayako’s mother warns her the curse is irreversible, and is suddenly killed by her daughter. Aubrey ventures to the house, following an image of Karen inside but encounters Takeo’s ghost who plays out the night he discovered his wife’s disloyalty, and snaps Aubrey’s neck.
Two years later, school girls Allison Flemming, Vanessa, and Miyuki, break into the house on a dare but Allison is locked in the closet and encounters Aubrey’s ghost but the girls escape. After Miyuki and Vanessa are consumed by the curse, Allison speaks with school counsellor Ms. Dale about the curse, but Dale denies its existence, revealing she went to the house and is actually a ghost herself. Allison is haunted by the ghosts of her friends, and she eventually flees back to Chicago, where she stays with her parents.
Several months on, the Kimbles move into an apartment block in Chicago. A young boy named Jake is disturbed by a strange presence in the building brought about by a hooded stranger who covers windows with newspaper. Jake’s father Bill and stepmother Trish are influenced by the curse, Bill accusing his wife of having an affair but she bludgeons him with a frying pan. Jake and his sister Lacey return from school, but Jake finds his family are all dead. He runs into the hooded person, revealed to be Allison, who explains the curse followed her. Kayako appears in Allison’s hood, finally taking her, and then emerges to attack Jake.
- 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.
- Edison Chen as Eason, a journalist who is investigating the Saeki murders
- Teresa Palmer as Vanessa Cassidy, the popular bully of Japan International High School
- Misako Uno as Miyuki Nazawa, Vanessa's best friend
- Sarah Roemer as Lacey Kimble, a cheerleader and Jake's kind and supporting older sister
- Jennifer Beals as Trish Kimble, Bill's new wife
- Matthew Knight as Jake Kimble, a young boy who suspects something happening in their apartment
- Christopher Cousins as Bill Kimble, Jake and Lacey's father
- Jenna Dewan as Sally Johnson, Lacey's neighbor and best friend
- Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki
- Kyoka Takizawa as Young Kayako
- Eve Gordon as Ms. Dale, Japan International High School's counselor
- Ohga Tanaka and Yuya Ozeki as Toshio Saeki
- 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
- Shaun Sipos as Michael, Miyuki's boyfriend
- Kim Miyori as Nakagawa Kawamata who is Kayako's mother
- Paul Jarrett as John Fleming, Allison's father
- Gwen Lorenzetti as Annie Fleming, Allison's mother
The Grudge 2 was announced three 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 announced. 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 said 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 clarified 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 and Blu-ray Disc's special features 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 in one of the pages. 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 and Blu-ray Disc 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 and Blu-ray Disc:
- 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 and Blu-ray Disc 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.
- In the theatrical version while Karen is on the roof of the hospital, Kayako's hands wrap around Karen's face and shows a close up of Kayako's face behind Karen. In the unrated version, it shows Kayako wrapping her hands around Karen's face and then cuts to black.
- Drops of blood splatter over Aubrey and Eason's feet after Karen hits the ground when she is killed. In the theatrical version, it only shows Karen hitting the ground.
- 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.
- Aubrey reliving Kayako's death is prolonged, alternating between shots of her and Kayako. There is also a shot of her face as she screams before her neck is snapped in the unrated version while the theatrical version only shows it from behind Takeo.
On April 1, 2006 a teaser site was launched with details revealing the October 13 release date. Many 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; fans who volunteered their mobile phone number received surprise calls from Kayako or Toshio. The films also became available on other film and horror-related websites as part of a wide-reaching and unique digital marketing strategy.
- Part 1, "Hotel": 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 US. 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": 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": 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 several critics for its confusing plot. Keith Phipps from The A.V. Club wrote, "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 found "[t]he 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 "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 judged, "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 theaters and was expected to generate $27 million across the October 13–15 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, saying: "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. Shimizu revealed he was offered the chance to direct the sequel but took on the role of producer instead. The film put out a casting call for new actors to play Kayako and Toshio, as Takako Fuji (Kayako) and Yuya Ozeki (Toshio) 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|
|United Kingdom||October 20, 2006|
|Pakistan||October 21, 2006|
|Philippines||October 22, 2006|
|Australia||October 26, 2006|
|Brazil||October 27, 2006|
|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 and crew reel change montage
- 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 film's $9 million. In its second week of retail availability it sold a further $3,060,351 for a total of $8,293,678 within two weeks. It is estimated to have earned at least $15 million from home media sales since, bringing the film's total gross to $85 million.
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- Kayako and Toshio ditch The Grudge 3?
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