The Grudge 2
"The Grudge 2" has an 8% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If it wasn't already abundantly clear to everyone who reads movie reviews that you should trust a film critic about as far as you could toss his stack of hidden junk food, this all but seals it. These same assholes who rip "The Grudge 2" for being whatever it is are the same critics who were peeing their fucking pants not so long ago about the original film in the series, "Ju-On." For all its faults, "The Grudge 2" isn't all that different from the original in terms of tone and style. In other words, these same hypocritical assclowns who were touting the original are now using the same comments to criticize this sequel. Up is down; black is white.
Of course, asking for consistency from a film critic is like asking for Lindsay Lohan to wear underwear. The fact is, most film critics don't like the horror genre, don't understand the horror genre, and try to evaluate the horror genre as though they were evaluating the latest Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy or whatever standard they hold for what makes a good audience-pleasing film. Here's the thing: Few horror films follow those conventions. Even fewer Japanese horror films follow them. Japanese horror films are virtually all about atmosphere. What actually happens in them doesn't seem to be that important and they're full of things that appeal to the Japanese or even more specifically, the Japanese horror fan. In American horror films, there's usually a killer on the loose and a bunch of idiots running around trying not to get killed. In Japanese horror films, the more freaky the atmosphere, the better the film. In American horror films, the more bizarre, gory and entertaining the murders, the better the film. That's basically the standard these films use.
Obviously, that's a simplistic look at the horror genre in the two countries, but it's not an unfair way to tell readers whether or not a film works. If the critics on the Tomatometer did this, I can guarantee you the rating would be a lot higher than 8% because "The Grudge 2" basically tweaks the previous movies, adds a small construction/plot twist, and ramps up the atmosphere and the ghost sightings. Director Takashi Shimizu (who's the original director) just does what he does. He certainly doesn't compromise much. Clearly, the movie ends on his terms. Frankly, I sat in the movie mostly hoping that there'd be some kind of pay off for the three different stories that were all being told and seemed completely disconnected. I was afraid I'd have spent time in the theater and at the end, Shimizu wouldn't even bother to connect the stories.
I suppose I'm being a hypocrite too since I don't like the film either. Three bombs doesn't say "run out and see this." But I gave "The Grudge" two bombs, so I think I'm trying to make sense. And while film critics aren't one big entity that can control themselves as a group or have a collective consciousness, it's interesting that "Ju-On" is at 55% on the Tomatometer, "The Grudge" is at 40%, and "The Grudge 2" is at 8%. The only comparison that's relevant in a review is how this film compares to its predecessors.
Like I said, it's more or less the same film as the previous ones. It just has three parts. One part involves Aubrey Davis (Amber Tamblyn) traveling to Japan to see what's screwed up her sister, Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar). The second part involves some high school students in Japan who enter the haunted house from the first films. The third part takes place in the U.S. where similar hauntings seem to be affecting a family in an apartment building. At approximately five-minute intervals, we hear that creepy sound and the girl pops out of the shadows.
Sure, I'm one of these film critic assclowns too, but at least I know my own shortcomings.
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