|The Grudge 2|
The Grudge 2 a 2006 horror film, the second installment in the Grudge film series, produced by Sam Raimi, directed by Takashi Shimizu and written by Stephen Susco. Differently from the first film, an original storyline and characters are provided.
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. The film was followed by The Grudge 3 in 2009.
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 hanged 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.
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 Chinese journalist, Eason, translates for her, having saved Karen from the house fire, and who is curious about the house himself. Aubrey briefly speaks with Karen who gets into a panic due to telling Aubrey not to go into the Saeki house and has to be strapped to her bed. Karen manages to get 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.
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) and vessel, depositing the entities inside her. 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.
First Part: AubreyEdit
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 tries to murder her herself, only to be suddenly stopped by Kayako (who chokes her mother's throat) - 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 his original victim, before he catches up with her, 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.
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 whith Toshio and then seemingly Kayako appear. The girls flee the house and become haunted by the Saeki family. Miyuki is taken 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, vanishing.
Second Part: AllisonEdit
Allison and Vanessa are interrogated by their school counselor, Ms. Telbet, about what actually happened at the house. Allison then informs Vanessa that Miyuki disappeared and Vanessa tells Telbet about her date with Michael, and is told that the police had already interrogated him. Desperate, Allison asks Vanessa why they took her to the house and Vanessa cynically says she wanted to go there. Revolted, Allison leaves the room and is followed by the couselor. Left alone, Vanessa waits and is haunted by Toshio's ghost. Scared, she leaves the school and runs to a public phone, where she attempts to contact Miyuki once more. Vanessa notices someone else inside the phone cab and is surprised by the ghostly little boy at her feet. Kayako's ghost then manifests and completely wraps her in dark hair, taking her. A haunted Allison later visits the counselor and tells about her situation, and that she wants to return home. A rigid Ms. Telbet that there is nothing there, as she has been in the house with the police. Allison warns Telbet that she will be taken as well, and is told that they were there with her. Allison is surprised by the ghosts of her schoolmates by her side, and a ghostly Ms. Telbet suffocating onto her. Horrified, Allison runs out of the room.
Third Part: JakeEdit
In an apartment block in Chicago, Jake 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, telling Jake that it's time for his bath, before Toshio pulls her underwater. Fleeing his apartment, he finds out that the Flemings are dead and finally confronts the hooded stranger, revealed to be Allison. It`s then revealed that Allison is still alive, but completely consumed by the curse.
In the final sequence, Allison tells Jake the curse actually had followed her. Jake's eyes widen with horror when he sees Toshio's eye in Allison's hood. She is then caught 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.
The story of Aubrey is the first, chronologically, still 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 died.
- The names of the deleted scenes are taken from the DVD'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 the Folklore Guy's apartment, they also watched footage of Japanese exorcisms.
- The Passport: After being terrorized by the ghostly Mrs. Telbet, 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 had a dream 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: After Jake finds Lacey dead, he runs to an appartment screaming for help and discovers Trish's hanged body. A terrified Allison leaves her appartment and Jake enters and sees her parent's dead. He blames her for taking the ghosts there and they are both surprised by Kayako's ghost, crawling down the stairs towards them. Parts of this scene were used in the official trailer for the film.
- Epilogue: In the epilogue, Karen and Aubrey's mother received a delivery from Japan, a box full of Aubrey'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.
- Many extra scenes were included in the unrated Director's 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.
Production notes and triviaEdit
- The character of Vanessa was written with actress Vanessa Lengies in mind, but was unavailable. The part still bares her name.
- Director Takashi Shimizu went to Los Angeles to meet with producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi in a small office at Columbia Pictures. The purpose was to develop a story outline for the sequel's first draft, which also involved employees from Tapert and Raimi's production company Ghost House Pictures, producer Taka Ichise, and writer Stephen Susco. According to Tapert, the session was roughly seven or eight hours of people suggesting ideas for the story.
- To keep the mood on the set light, the actors and director would often joke around and attempt to frighten one another. This included a Karaoke session performed by Takashi Shimizu on Arielle Kebbel's birthday.
- On the "Columbia" logo screen before the feature, the standard logo appears normal for a moment, then the hair grows and the Columbia statuette turns to Kayako as the word "Columbia" changes to "Grudge 2". The screen flashes for a moment as this happens.
- Entitled Ju-on: Pandemic in Japan.
- The scene in which Vanessa is haunted references Mizuho Tamura's scene in Ju-on: The Curse. The scene of Bill's murder mirrors the one from Ju-on: The Curse 2, in which Yoshimi murders her husband similarly.
- Sony Pictures commissioned Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA to design a Haunt maze for its premiere in October 2006, consisting in a replica of the Saeki household. It was inaugurated by Takashi Shimizu himself with producer Sam Raimi and the cast.
- The Grudge 2 had an extensive promotional material which included Sony releasing 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. After Jason was reported missing, the blog was taken over by his roommate who filed the report. In his videos, the grudge curse affects the cast and crew (including a stressed Christopher Cousins). Tamblyn's interview is the last and is interrupted as she flees from the room, pursued by the ghost of Kayako.
- On September 19, 2006 Yahoo! Movies was the first site to release three short films titled Tales from the Grudge. The film's official site had an animated graphic novel, The Grudge 1.5, which is set between the first and second films and tells Eason's background. The shorts were directed by Toby Wilkins (director of The Grudge 3) and written by Ben Ketai.
- Teresa Palmer had a video journal during shooting that is availabe here. It shows Palmer hanging out in Tokyo with co-star Arielle Kebbel and their first sight of the Saeki house setting.
- ↑ http://web.archive.org/web/20060627054207/http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=35283M
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433386/releaseinfo
- ↑ http://www.houseofhorrors.com/crypt/pages/recent_news/printer_557.shtml
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433386/releaseinfo
- ↑ http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/7888-haunt-report-08-the-quarantine-maze/
- ↑ http://www.themeparkinsider.com/news/response.cfm?ID=3035
- ↑ http://www.movieweb.com/news/student-filmmaker-jason-cutler-disappears-from-the-set-of-the-grudge-2