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"It turns out massacres are a lot like sitting through God Father 3, once is enough."
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October 13 2006

Sarah Michelle Gellar's "The Grudge 2" Hits Theaters Today. The horror sequel hopes to match the original's box office. (Minor Spoilers in thread)

Quite a few people here know my feelings on the first -- didn't like it at all. I saw 'Grudge 2' last night. My feelings? A little more story, a lot more boring. The acting is pretty poor outside of Amber Tamblyn. Sarah's total screen time equals maybe three minutes.

I concur when it comes to both movies.
I thought The Grudge was one of the best horror movies I'd seen in ages. So wonderfully understated and tense. Bill Pullman and Sarah were terrific in their roles.
I don't really consider either one horror. I'd say they'd fall more under suspense, but that's just me. Also, both, more so the second one, seemed to rely a lot on gimmick shots and those are a big pet peeve of mine.
I echo Simon's comment ... except I might add that it's the only horror movie I'd seen since, well, I Know What You Did Last Summer. I'm not a fan of the horror. So while some people complained how boring and mild it was, I was under my chair in anxiety. Literally.

I plan to go and see the sequel, but I'm not sure how I'll deal with it in the absence of SMG's calming presence.
Horror is not my favorite either, so I waited till it came to cable (sorry, SMG). Creepy, it was. I can't compare it to other films since I see so few horror films, but whatever the case, congratulations to Sarah on her new film entering theatres! :-)
I thought The Grudge was one of the best horror movies I'd seen in ages. So wonderfully understated and tense. Bill Pullman and Sarah were terrific in their roles.
Simon


Ditto. I'm planning to see Grudge 2 as soon as possible, even though the ads don't make it look as good as the first one.

[ edited by dreamlogic on 2006-10-13 10:39 ]
Look at today's date. Friday the 13th. Could be a good sign for The Grudge 2.
Here is the first review of the movie that I could find. There are wild predictions out there from 10-35 million this weekend so we will see what happens. Personally, I did like The Grudge, though it was a little slow at times. Oh and massive spoiler warning for the link, I know some of you dont want to be spoiled so Ill say it got a 5/10.

Review
Might have to have a look at them both real soon. I skipped the first Grudge when it came around, but followed some links to Grudge 2 info when they started appearing here. One that sucked me in was a fun behind-the-scenes shot in Japan. When it opened, a voiceover was talking about the crew, and the screenplay writer Steve Susco. I smiled to myself, remembering a fun friend from high school who shared a seat on the schoolboard with me. We did a radio show, and had lots of laughs. The camera followed the backs of several men into a conference room, and there was a muffled hint of a familiar voice. The very next shot revealed that these Steves were one and the same. How did I miss this? How fun! Good for him! /big grin. Lovely to see someone lovely succeed.

I've become a bit skittish about these kinds of movies of late, but I dunno how i can resist now. Does that happen to you when someone you know/knew was involved? You just have to have a look, right?
I would follow the Whedonverse actors anywhere. Except anything called "Voodoo Moon". And anything with David Boreanaz in fish nets.
I liked the first Grudge and plan to see this sometime in the next week.
Voodoo Moon was more fun than The Grudge 2, though entirely unintentionally!

And for anyone who's seen The Grudge 2's trailer -- it has every single scare in the movie. There's not a single scare that's unspoiled by that trailer.
I would follow the Whedonverse actors anywhere

Watched Nick Brendon's 'Pinata: Survival Island'. Wouldn't mind getting that hour and a half back.

(though in fairness he and Jaime Pressly were both fine)

I'd imagine i'll check out the Grudges sometime soon (though I think some of the Japanese horror remakes have been a bit 'meh').
Watched it yesterday afternoon. It opened a day early over here.
Really liked how it was handled, I believe this happenned because the series creator also directs this second installment.



Just at small add:

Was I the only one sort of creeped out watch this movie trailer, where the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You", played during SMG's shots.
It makes me wonder if the trailer editor was actually a Buffy fan. Because that song was in "I Only Have Eyer for You" (IMHO one of Marti Noxon best episodes in the whole series), which plot delves into continous cycles caused by a tragedy in Sunnydale High.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2006-10-13 17:15 ]
I don't really consider either one horror. I'd say they'd fall more under suspense, but that's just me.

Suspense my eye! The first one was one of the scariest films I've ever seen at the cinema... I was hiding behind my knees!
Ugh. It's all cheap jump scares. Someone walks into a room, suspense... nothing happens! Count to three, then your real scare comes. It's that simple.

People booed last night when the credits rolled, and I've heard about it happening elsewhere.
I would never pooh-pooh someone's enjoyment of a film. I have to say though that I have a fundamental problem with remakes: 1) I already know what's going to happen (as I did with The Grudge and The Ring) and 2) How much thought is put into thinking through how the film could be updated and changed to keep the basic ideas of the original film, yet still be fresh and innovative? I never had one surprise with the remake of Grudge and felt it flattened Sarah's personality to the point where she didn't have one, also that I could not see her handprint on the role at all, and as we know, she has a very strong voice.

Remakes can be homage like Psycho, but I have problems with that film too, even though Van Sant's work on it was masterful. The Manchurian Candidate had a modern setting which gave it a whole new twist. I won't talk about The Omen. To say I'm reluctant to watch it is an understatement.

And just to throw in, two of my favorite Asian horror films are Cure and A Tale of Two Sisters.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2006-10-13 17:36 ]
The idea of a sequel kind of disappointed me at first, because the first was, as Simon said, wonderfully understated, and had fascinating context and themes and...well, sequels usually don't have that, lol. But I recently saw Ju-On 2, and liked how that wasn't merely a repeat of the original, but took the story in a different direction, so I'm hoping I'll love The Grudge 2 as well.

(Oh, and Tonya J--A Tale of Two Sisters is one of my favourite films ever!)
Tonya J, I haven't seen Cure but I love A Tale of Two Sisters. So many films rely one or more twists which, if anticipated early, spoil the enjoyment of the rest of the film. There have been so many recycled plots that it's rare when I don't see where a film is headed. In Sisters I saw where it was heading early, but instead of that lessening my enjoyment, instead it enriched it. I actually think the director/writer anticipated varying levels of recycled-plot-element familiarity in the audience and deliberately structured and infused the film with greater richness for that reason. It has a greater re-watchability factor than anything I've seen in years, except Serenity.

Saje, re: films/remakes, my personal scores, FWIW:

Ringu-----90
The Ring-----85
The Ring 2-----30
original Dark Water-----?
Dark Water-----30
Psycho-----100
van Sant Psycho-----65
The Wicker Man-----90
Wicker Man Remake-----30
Juon-----80
The Grudge-----80
The Grudge 2-----?
Ugh. It's all cheap jump scares. Someone walks into a room, suspense... nothing happens! Count to three, then your real scare comes. It's that simple.

People booed last night when the credits rolled, and I've heard about it happening elsewhere.


I thought the film opened today (Friday). Was it shown in cinemas yesterday? The Dark Shape, just out of curiosity, I seem to recall that you didn't like the first film at all. What made you decide to go to see the sequel (I take it from your comment that you saw it last night)?
I recall The Dark Shape works in the movie business, so probably had to see it.

Although why he watched Voodoo Moon I don't know ;)

Here's the thing with The Grudge - yes, it's all about somebody walking into a room, some suspense, and not much happening. Some people like that. Given the first film was easily SMG's most profitable motion picture - enough to warrant a sequel, no less, I'd imagine that's a lot of people who enjoy it. And fair play to them.
No trick to it, there was a press screening last night (at 10:30!).

I saw The Grudge 2 because I don't want to be a hypocrite. I've talked a lot of crap in my day, there's no denying that. If I went message board to message board debating about the movie (which I feel is cheap, popcorn horror) without even seeing it, that'd be pretty low on my part. I at least want to be informed when I talk about something.

Here's another major problem with the film:

MAJOR SPOILERS
(don't know how to spoiler tag - (no but I do - Simon )



END SPOILERS

[ edited by Simon on 2006-10-13 20:14 ]
I agree The Dark Shape. I guess I'll post my big problem with the movie(s) too (beyond what I've mentioned earlier).

The movie doesn't translate well. I'm under the impression that the vengful spirit type plot that the movie revolves around is japanese folklore, as mentioned in the first film (I think). The problem is there is no counterpart to that over here so it lacks a good anchor point. It doesn't prey on any rational/irrational fears. Just as an example, I remember when the Blair Witch came out. That movie freaked a lot of people out, but it preyed on a fear that anyone who has ever been in the woods is familiar with ... the unexplainable sounds and the like that start to play tricks on your mind. Another example, Freddy. As comical as the character is and has become the movies tend to still work because they center are 2 fears, being helpless while asleep and a guy that goes after your children. Anyway, back to The Grudge, because there's no real fear that's exploited, and because of the format of the movie, you, or at least I, am to concerned to trying to make heads or tails of the story to be affected by whatever else is in the film.

FWIW, here they had a free 7pm showing Thursday. Apparently some local used video and gaming stores were given a bunch of tickets in exchange for hanging up a poster or some such.
Well whether Amber Tamblyn needs to be in it or not Dark Shape I think audiences might like to know what happened to SMG's character

[ edited by garda39 on 2006-10-13 20:18 ]
The movie doesn't translate well. I'm under the impression that the vengful spirit type plot that the movie revolves around is japanese folklore, as mentioned in the first film (I think).

It's not just Japanese folklore--it's that the backstory is rooted in Japanese culture as well, and (thankfully, IMO), not explained to death in the film. Kayako was a woman living in modern-day Japan in an old, tradional Japanese household, where women were not treated as equal, and when murdered by her abusive husband, her anger at not having a normal life became a stain upon the home--a curse, or grudge. That could have been altered slightly to fit more with Western beliefs--here we have stories about haunted houses and ghosts too--but I think the reason the film may not have translated well is because it was as much of a commentary on that particular aspect of old Japanese culture than anything else.
I saw The Grudge 2 because I don't want to be a hypocrite. I've talked a lot of crap in my day, there's no denying that. If I went message board to message board debating about the movie (which I feel is cheap, popcorn horror) without even seeing it, that'd be pretty low on my part. I at least want to be informed when I talk about something.


I am probably just being really dumb and misunderstanding what you mean, but I'm not clear how not watching something you are unlikely to derive any enjoyment from would make you a hypocrite. Do you go to see all the films you think you're not going to like so that you can debate their lack of worth on message boards, or is it because you have to (what gossi said about you working in the film business), in which case I guess it must get a bit dispiriting if you continually have to watch films you get no enjoyment out of.

I can't comment about the merits or otherwise of 'The Grudge 2' (it's not out over here until next weekend), but I'm easily pleased in general, I liked 'The Grudge', 'Ju-on: The Grudge' and 'Ju-on: The Grudge 2' (and various other similiar Japanese and Korean films), and I like Gellar, so I'll probably go in with a biased disposition towards liking it.
I think audiences might like to know what happened to SMG's character


She died at the end of the first film (or was in the process of dying), as you might recall. Grudge 2 conveniently forgets the first movie's final scene.
not explained to death in the film.


The Grudge 2 tries to explain it a little more -- something to with Kayako's mother and extracting evil spirits. Frankly, it sounds way too Sadako-like and has nothing to do with the movie.
If The Dark Shape is a critic, I presume they HAVE to see every film, pretty much. It's a job I'd never do professionally as although it'd make me love great movies, the majority of crap would probably put me off.
Oh no, I'm not a critic. Just a self-hating horror fan who sees just about everything that comes down the pipeline.

Including crap like When a Stranger Calls and Stay Alive. Ugh.

She died at the end of the first film (or was in the process of dying), as you might recall. Grudge 2 conveniently forgets the first movie's final scene.


Are you serious? Did we watch the same film? Even the creators said they weren't going to reveal whether or not she died at the end of the first film after the film had been released. They left it somewhat open ended for a reason. It's like what Joss did with the season 5 finale of Angel. Are we to assume that because something horrific does happen or is about to happen, Angel dies?

It's explained in the second what actually happened and why she's there and why Amber Tamblyn's (her sister) character goes to find her. I don't want to spoil it...but there's a definite reason why Sarah's character is in the second and is still alive, part of that reason being that she burned down the house but survived and was then taken to the hospital. Whatever happens at the end of the first film is ambiguous...we don't know whether or not she dies. We just see Kayako, a close up of her face and then the film ends. She could have been hallucinating that Kayako was after her.

There are scenes in the film where a person walks into a room and something terrible actually happens. There are also scenes where a character isn't certain what he/she is seeing. There are scenes where yes, it's just suspense but most of it isn't cheap thrills. Takashi Shimizu is all about creating atmosphere...just because the atmosphere makes the audience tense and nothing happens doesn't mean it's a cheap scare. My apartment creaks at night and this scares the bejesus out of me because in the film, creaking meant eventually something unnatural was about to happen.

One of the best things about this film is the soundtrack...it's nothing but unnatural and natural sounds woven together. Even the music makes the viewer tense.

The part with Kayako's mother has everything to do with the film. It basically explains why Kayako's grudge is so terrible.
Including crap like When a Stranger Calls and Stay Alive.

Somebody totally needs to ask Joss what he thought of When a Stranger Calls.
Are we to assume that because something horrific does happen or is about to happen, Angel dies?


If Angel ended with a massive demon right behind Angel, swinging a battle ax and the episode cuts to black just as the blade meets neck, yep, I'd assume Angel dies. The Grudge ended with Kayako right behind Sarah Michelle Gellar (including that hilarious rapid close-up of her eye). She's dead. It's a twist to make you go, "Ohmygod!" Then when the sequel comes around, it's forgotten. Hardly unusual for the horror industry. Just look at a number of Friday the 13ths.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2006-10-14 00:57 ]
I haven't seen the theatrical version of the grudge, but that is not how the directors cut ended and while watching it (specifically so I knew what was going on in the second) I was thinking well there's what was added so they could bring back a bigger name for promotion value.
There's one little bit in the Director's Cut of The Grudge that I really do find creepy -- when Toshio is slamming the feet of his hanged father into the wall.
"If Angel ended with a massive demon right behind Angel, swinging a battle ax and the episode cuts to black just as the blade meets neck"

That happened to Giles and he survived, although it wasnt a huge demon that swung the battle ax. But we all know that Giles is tougher than Angel, right?

I did like The Grudge for the scary moments, but it did have its problems in my estimation. I would bet (I havent seen it yet) that The Grudge 2 has some problems too, but if its frightening then im ok with it.
Logically, without superhuman reflexes, Giles should be dead there. But at least we get to see him later block the blade. Kayako's right behind Karen in The Grudge, and yet we're introduced to her in Grudge 2 on her bed (20 mins. into the movie), freaking out about wanting to finish the job on the house.
I'm not convinced that logic and horror films are particularly comfortable bedfellows or even that we should expect them to be. I think we all know why 'The Grudge 2' was made and why Gellar is in it. I doubt any of us expect it to be a cinematic classic to rival 'The Exorcist' or 'Halloween' or whatever we each individually consider to be horror classics. It may well be a dreadful film, something I will find out next week, but that doesn't mean that we should all necessarily expect not to enjoy it, just as happened with the first film, which received some decidedly unfriendly (and I thought genuinely undeserved) reviews.
Well I have no clue whether they explain anything in The Grudge 2, and I probably wont know until I dow...buy it on dvd. But if they showed exactly how Giles avoided the blade, I cant see how that would be illogical (and I cant believe im here defending season 7 but hey the Tigers are about to go to the world series so something is up on Friday the 13th), and if your point is that he logically shouldnt have been able to do that, then I think the fact that he does shows how its not quite that illogical.

ETA: That was some interesting grammar there...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-10-14 01:48 ]
If you look at the timing of the episode-ending blackout, and then the reveal later in the season of him blocking, the timing's a little different, as I recall. No matter. My point is, they don't show the ending of The Grudge, or explain how Sarah magically survived. It's never addressed. Kind of like Friday the 13th VIII, where Jason is turned into a little boy at the end of the film. Suddenly the next sequel comes around and he's fully grown and stalking teenagers with no explanation.
It did seem as though we were meant to assume from the ending of the first film that Karen had died. However, we certainly didn't see her actually die. The character had a number of face to face encounters with Kayako in the first film and survived. So I don't really see why it wouldn't have been possible for the final scene of the first film to have been another of those. Yes, they wanted Sarah in the sequel and that's obviously the key factor. However, I don't think it's all that ridiculous to assume that Karen somehow got away from Kayako at that point. After the fire when her boyfriend died earlier in the film, it seemed that we were supposed to think for a brief moment that she had been killed then. I'm not saying the trick wasn't overused given that she's still alive at the start of the second, but I don't think it's going against Grudge canon for her to have survived.

[ edited by Impossible on 2006-10-14 03:01 ]
The point is that not every fan assumed Karen died during her last encounter with Kayako. In fact I have friends who would ask me whether or not Karen survived (as though I knew since I'm a fan). Perhaps you assumed that but that really wasn't the case. It is left ambiguous whether or not Karen dies so that the creators could op whether or not to make the sequel (and whether or not to have Karen in it). The second film shouldn't necessarily have to start immediately where the first film left off for the viewer to get that somehow Karen didn't die (and perhaps Kayako really wasn't behind her). I thought she might have died when she set fire to the house but she didn't. As Impossible stated, Karen also doesn't die during her first encounter with Kayako. If we actually saw Karen die in the first film then yes, I would immediately wonder what she was doing alive in the second. However, her situation at the hospital readily explains why she thought/why Kayako was behind her.
My point with 'why is she here?' is that her story -- and Amber Tamblyn's -- goes nowhere in the overall scheme of the film. You could cut her out completely and everyone could assume what happened.
*blithely skips past spoilers*

jaynelovesvera, (also FWIW ;) more or less agree with your scores on the originals that i've seen (i'd maybe put 'Ringu' a bit higher but that's partly because it was the first Asian horror movie i'd seen so that particular brand of disturbing was new to me) and 'The Ring' was not bad, IMO (not seen 'The Ring 2') but I can't comment on Van Sant's 'Psycho' or 'The Wicker Man' remake because I just can't bring myself to watch them. When I heard the 'Psycho' remake was a scene for scene recreation I thought 'Okkaay, didn't Alfred frikkin Hitchcock ! (TM) already do that ?'. I'm being a bit unfair cos i've not seen it but those are pretty big shoes to fill, IMO.

With 'Wicker Man', I dunno, I just don't see the remake capturing the kind of oppressive edginess of the original as well as the fact that ancient pagan rituals don't really fly in an American setting (though I think it's at least worthy of a remake since it's not the masterpiece that 'Psycho' is - and possibly they've gone down an ancient native American rituals route or similar).

(maybe 'Psycho' shouldn't have 100%. I mean there has to be something wrong with it ? Right ? ... nope, i've got nothing ;)
Saje, as a concept I agree that nothing produced by man can be flawless, but if I can't find the flaws, this boy's not taking points off for them. Being a Hitchcock nut I knew I would have an aversion to the remake, but tried to keep an open mind when I saw it. (I loved To Die For). While technically impressive, to me it didn't have much life in it, despite the prescence of Anne Heche and Vince Vaughn, both performers I'm predisposed to like.

A (to me) intersting sidenote is that unlike films today, when so much alternate footage is shot so that fuzzy-minded directors and interested-party suits can make creative changes in editing--and have extra crap for the DVD--Hitchcock's meticulous planning, made possible by his unparalleled ability to visualize, allowed him to shoot only what he wanted in the film, often infuriating producers like Selznick, who wanted their finger in the pie.

I occasionally contrast Joss' absent, neglectful or criminal fathers (save Fred's--gotta love Mr. Burkle) with Hitchcock's strong, sometimes domineering mothers. I don't know, though, the Jossian equivalent of Hitchcock having someone take a shot of brandy in every film.

And both have a fondness for oners, which recalls a theory of mine. I suspect the title Goners is a working title only, because viewed in many fonts it looks a lot like " 6 oners ". Not serious about that, but Hitchcock's Rope consisted entirely of 10 minute oners, the most one could get out of a reel of film at that time.

[ edited by jaynelovesvera on 2006-10-14 14:19 ]
The Grudge 2 pulled in $9,710,000 yesterday. A good total, but it's a large drop from the original's $14,500,000 opening.

[ edited by The Dark Shape on 2006-10-14 21:31 ]
" Saje, as a concept I agree that nothing produced by man can be flawless"

I dont know, the movie Major League is flawless to me. My all time favorite movie is perfect I believe. But hey...I could be wrong.
I suspect the title Goners is a working title only, because viewed in many fonts it looks a lot like " 6 oners ".

Ohhhhh, I'm adding that to my list of probably-wrong-but-you-never-know theories about Goners. Simon recently dug out a TV project Joss did about magic-coming-back which predates Firefly (and possibly got squished by Firefly), and I've been wondering if that could have been Goners related to. So, to summary it up, Goners is clearly about 6 oneshots about magic coming back and affecting society. Or not.
gossi, plus if you go lowercase fonts, it's 9 oners, which could make a whole movie.

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