The Grudge 2 (2006)

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Released 7-Mar-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Featurette-Making Of-Grudge 2 Storyline Development
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-East Meets West
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Ready When you are, Mr Shimizu
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Holding a Grudge
Featurette-Making Of-The Art of Silence
Featurette-Cast and Crew Reel Changes
Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 98:09 (Case: 102)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (75:52) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Takashi Shimizu
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar
Amber Tamblyn
Edison Chen
Arielle Kebbel
Jennifer Beals
Teresa Palmer
Misako Uno
Sarah Roemer
Matthew Knight
Takako Fuji
Ohga Tanaka
Joanna Cassidy
Christopher Cousins
Case ?
RPI ? Music Christopher Young


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format ?
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, opening credits show scenes from first Grudge film

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

The Grudge 2 is set two years after the its predecessor. This time the story spans the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to the US. In the original film, an American student in Japan, Karen (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), came across a haunted house inhabited by some very scary spirits and spent the entire film trying to get away from them!

In this latest instalment of what's bound to be an ongoing series of remakes, Karen's sister Audrey is the central character. Audrey, played by Amber Tamblyn, is asked by her mother to go to Japan to find out what happened to Karen. Audrey finds Karen in hospital, though she soon dies, and Audrey decides to investigate further. She then encounters the same mysterious forces that were haunting her sister in the original film.

There are two other storylines running in parallel. One concerns a group of three schoolgirls who have, on a dare, entered the same haunted house. One of these girls is played by the rather gorgeous Australian actress Teresa Palmer. Another storyline concerns a strange family in Chicago who encounter some strange neighbours in their apartment block.

Whilst the original Grudge movie was fairly simple in its plot, and perhaps more scary as a result, this sequel attempts to have too many plotlines and subplots, as well as differing timelines. All this seems to do is dilute the scares, and add unnecessary convolution to the storyline.

There are definitely some moments that will make the viewer jump, but there are also a few cringeworthy scenes for the wrong reasons!

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video transfer on this disk is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is close to its original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

The picture looks sharp throughout, and shadow detail is good. However, there are many scenes of high contrast which sometimes make it difficult to pick out details in darker areas. I think this was the original intent of the director/cinematographer.

There is no visible grain or low-level noise.

Colour varies at times from having a warmish palette to presenting a strongly blue/cold tinge. I felt that this was a little overdone by the director/cinematographer and therefore is no fault of the DVD transfer itself.

No visible film or MPEG artefacts appear.

Subtitles, in English, are well timed and accurate.

The layer change point was at 75:52, during a fadeout at the end of a scene. However, there was still an interruption to the sound for just a very brief period.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack was a very well mixed Dolby Digital 5.1, full of directional and ambient surround effects.

Dialogue was clear at all times. There were no issues with audio sync.

The music, by Christopher Young (who also composed the soundtrack for the original film), was suitably scary without ever overwhelming the onscreen action or dialog.

Surround channels were used well for many directional and ambient noises

As you would expect for a modern horror movie, the subwoofer played a big role in supplying deep bass, adding greatly to the scary 'moments' and overall creepiness.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Considering this is a single-disk release, the extras provided are quite generous.

Featurette - Storyline Development (runtime 11:38)

Presented in 1.78:1 ratio and 16x9 enhanced. Focuses on how the story for The Grudge 2 came about, including the Americanisation of the original Japanese movie. Perhaps too much of this American influence may have contributed to the eventual state of this film? It contains excerpts of interviews with a number of principal crew members, including director Takashi Shimizu, as well as producer Taka Ichise and co-producers Michael Kirk and Drew Crevello.

Featurette - East Meets West(runtime 15:14)

Presented in 1.78:1 ratio and 16x9 enhanced. More excerpts from the same interviews with cast and crew, this time focusing on the cinematic translation from the original Japanese film. It highlights the linguistic problems that had to be overcome between the Japanese director and his American cast and crew.

Featurette - Ready When you are, Mr Shimizu (runtime 13:21)

Pretty much just praise for the director from various members of the cast and crew. Includes a few scenes from the film. Presented in 1.78:1 ratio and 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - Holding a Grudge (runtime 10:18)

This documentary focuses on the ghostly woman character, Kayako. There are interviews with various cast and crew members but we only ever hear that particular actress's voice without actually see her. Perhaps to keep the vision intact for future sequels? This documentary also covers the ghostly child character this time you get to see the actual actor.

Featurette - The Art of Silence (runtime 6:37)

Interesting look at the sound effects for this film.

Featurette - Cast and Crew Reel Change Montage (runtime 8:09)

4x3 fullscreen. The director asked different cast and crew members to do the reel change points on camera. This is the collection of all those 'scenes' set to music from the film. A bit long winded.

Deleted Scenes

Quite a few deleted scenes, including alternative versions of the opening and end sequences. Each scene can be played individually, or using the "play all" option. These scenes look and sound well 'finished', so I guess they were cut very late in the process. The alternate ending clearly sets the scene for a followup film...or ten!

Censorship

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R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

There seem to be a number of variants available in Region 1, including the Unrated Director's Cut, versions that include both Grudge movies in a metal case, as well as just the 'plain' version very similar to this R4 release.

If one of the other options appeals, then you'd have to go with R1, otherwise the R4 is the one to pick out of the 'standard' releases.

Summary

Not as good as the first Grudge US remake, but which sequels match the originals that spawned them? The Grudge 2 is quite entertaining, though somewhat complicated to decipher occasionally due to the time jumps and parallel storylines. Still, it has some effectively scary and creepy moments, though perhaps not as many as its predecessor.

Our DVD boasts good video and audio transfers. The disk is also packed with plenty of extras, including alternative opening and closing sequences.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Satish Rajah (don't read my bio!)
Friday, March 23, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplaySony KV-XA34M31 80cm. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2801
SpeakersMain: Mission 753; Centre: Mission m7c2; rear: Mission 77DS; Sub: JBL PB10

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