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Massawyrm says GRUDGE 2 is Cinematic Nyquil, does that mean it's the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing coughing, aching, fever...

Hola all. Massawyrm here. Wow. You know, I’d heard, as many of you have, just how bad The Grudge 2 was. But I just couldn’t believe it was that bad. I mean, it’s a serious horror film. How long, boring, tedious, repetitive, monotonous, droning, dreadful, mind-numbing, incessant, tiresome, unending and just plain awful could it be? Well, for one thing, it makes that last sentence look like an action packed thrill ride. Seriously. This thing isn’t so much bad as it is just fucking duller than a 9 part Ken Burns documentary series on the benefits of weather stripping. It’s cinematic Nyquil. Jules-Henri Poincare’ once wrote ”…an accumulation of facts is no more science than a heap of stones is a house.” I subject to you that the same can be said about set pieces. An accumulation of set pieces is no more a movie than…dot dot dot. And that’s the real problem here. The Grudge 2 isn’t actually a movie as much as it is a series of scenes involving characters we don’t give two shits about seeing that kid cower in the corner while his mom with bad hair grabs our hapless victim when they least expect it. Over and over and over again. This film is just an excuse to find new places for that angry bitch to crawl out of. It’s a film that makes me feel guilty for any film I’ve ever characterized as having wafer thin characters or clichés. Because this one takes the fucking take. This movie doesn’t actually have characters. Oh, it has actors. But not characters. Showing us that someone is a schoolgirl and telling us that she has been at this school for sixth months IS NOT A CHARACTER HISTORY. In order to actually care about said character, we need something a little more than ‘woman who has moved in with a man with two kids.’ What? Did the wife die? Are the man and woman married now? Do they actually have last names? And what about this sister of the girl from the last movie? Her mom is dying and she liked her sister more. We ever gonna learn anything more about her? Nope. You have just learned everything there is to know about every major character in the movie. That’s it. No telling scenes about who our protagonists are, not even a pap set up explaining the various roles each character falls into. Nothing. And yet they manage to stretch that shit out for an excruciating 99 minutes. Now I’m a big fan of short hand – giving small, easily recognizable character moments that convey things it would just take too long to explain that we all get right off the bat anyway. But you cannot make an entire film out of them. Here they try really hard to do just that. There is not one, single, genuine moment in the whole film. No real emotion, nothing to care about as each character gets dragged into the abyss. There’s actually a moment in the film, however, where things begin to get interesting. After about 45 minutes of she-bitch crawling out of toilets and emulsion trays and more shower scenes shot like shampoo commercials in which young girls pull black hairs out of their own head, then and only then are we treated to something resembling a story. And despite the fact that we’re supposed to believe that one of the only people our protagonist encounters in Japan who can actually speak English is the one person she needs exposition from, an ancient mystic who lives in the woods, I was ready to buy it. Because I needed something, anything, to keep me from a J-Horror induced coma. But wait, despite an elaborate backstory boiled down to a one minute monologue that actually borders on being something new and different, we’re told concretely No, that has nothing to do with this. It’s only backstory you stupid fucking American. This all started with the Curse, just like we told you in the last movie. So why the one minute monologue? Oh, right, because without it, it would have been an excruciating 98-minute movie. We do learn one important fact from this little adventure deep into the heart of perfect English speaking Japan. The curse will only grow. It cannot be stopped. Once it has a hold of you it will never let go and it will continue to spread until the costs of making and marketing a film about it outweighs the profits it generates. Will you, the movie going public help me? Can we stop this curse before it continues to spread into the inevitable The Grudge 3: Really, How Could This Possibly Be Any Worse Than the Last One? You know, it was bad enough that they took Ju-On and made a piss poor remake out of it, removing several important storylines and replacing them with shit that just plum didn’t make a lick of sense (like the ripped off jaw), and almost completely removing the temporal element of the film altogether – watching the effects of this house on people over the course of a decade. But The Grudge 2 is actually based upon…Ju-On. Huh? Yeah, remember the storylines they cut out of part one? Well, they brought them back for part 2 and added more new shit that doesn’t make any sense. Technically, this is simply a continuation of the remake process – only this time feeling like everything that was cut out of the first one for a reason. They even take one of the best story elements of Ju-on, the fact that the schoolgirl story and the cop story are actually very closely linked, adding an extra level of tragedy, and they throw that right out the window. Nope. This time they have zero to do with one another. Grrrrreat. Takashi Shimizu. The dude’s done. Seriously man. He’s made an entire career out of these films. Seven. Seven films about the same women killing people the same way over and over again. I mean, shit, at this point Japan is sending them straight to video. What the hell does that tell you Takashi? Find a new story. It’s clear from watching this that you were as bored directing it as I was watching it, and it was a struggle to keep my eyes open. You made me fight for consciousness. And I can feel that same level of energy in every tired shot in this film. Oh, and next time put a warning label on the film about driving or operating heavy machinery after seeing this. Someone’s gonna get killed. Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em. I know I will. Massawyrm Got something for the Wyrm? Mail it here.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by superfatty

    awww yeah

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Ken Burns would make weather stripping ENTHRALLING!!!

    by SydBarretsMyDad

    i mean, lets be honest. anyway, it cant be as bad as The Fog remake. I walked out of that, it was wasting my life.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:23 p.m. CST


    by kbass

    So...I can't tell by the review. Did he like it or not?

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by Acappellaman

    He's made seven movies based on these characters? Obviously there's Ju-on 1 and 2, The Grudge 1 and two. What are the other three? Did he remake parts 1 and 2 in different languages for their people to suffer through as well? It's very sad to see somebody with promise waste his talent like this. Oh, well. There's always Uwe Boll...

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Oh for crying out loud The Grudge or Ju-On are not that

    by Lovecraftfan

    I mean honeslty once you decomplicate the unnecessary convoluted structures the stories aren't that interesting. In fact, they're pretty bland. Still this sounds horrible.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:40 p.m. CST

    edit: not that good

    by Lovecraftfan


  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:40 p.m. CST

    and it will still make MORE money So many better films

    by future help

    fuck you (my main man)Raimi... for producing this crap.\ fuck you, the fuckin' guys making Texas Chainsaw updates & prequels. Fuck you for making a Saw 2 & 3. (the first one had a great ending) and fuck all those other remakes of horror headin' our way. the only 2 decent horror remkes EVER, were... Evil Dead 2 (reallY JUST A RETELLING ofthe originaL) and The Thing. were

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:41 p.m. CST

    You call this a review? What about the actress' TEETH?

    by Movietool

    Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:43 p.m. CST

    what the hell is wrong with AICN's site?

    by future help

    nothing is working anymore. blank0out screens fuck up's on my typing.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Hang on....

    by Kizeesh

    You're basically complaining that the story is much the same as the original in style and structure. Half of the characters in the original Ju-On are the same. Oh its her friend who phones. That's all we really get to know before she starts down the lift-shaft with the kid looking at her on every floor. To be fair the original Trailer for Ju-on was more terrifying than the final movie, and indeed most Horror movies.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:52 p.m. CST

    I have no doubt...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...that The Grudge 2 is as bad as Massawyrm claims. Its predecessor was awful too. The thing is, though, that the Japanese originals are crap as well. I've seen Ju-On 1 & 2, as well as the television movie versions and apart from a couple of cool, creepy moments here and there, the movies are complete ass. I'm not a hater of Japanese horror at all, but that doesn't mean that EVERY fucking horror film produced in Japan is a towering achievement in originality, quality and terror. Raimi and his soulless cronies took sub-par material and turned it into even worse shit, that's all.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:58 p.m. CST

    This Will Kill

    by Mr. Winston

    And so will SAW 3. And TCM:P is killing right now (comparable to its budget, that is). And I don't mean in a narrative capacity; we're talking pure finances here. It's funny - after the first GRUDGE, everyone noticed that the kids talked about one scene in the movie: where that shadow kept going across the shot from the security camera, and then there was a face that came out of nowhere and screamed. THAT'S what everyone remembers, and THAT'S what all the studios are developing now. It's not about the story anymore - it's about one or two shock moments that make a crap movie worthwhile for teenagers. I don't want to suggest that you're complaining, Wyrm, but the fact is that there's some good horror out there, and generally it's easy to pick out (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HILLS HAVE EYES, etc.). No use complaining about the stuff that's being blatantly geared towards high schoolers.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Damn, birdy birdman came out swingin'

    by Get_Me_An_18-Man_Fire_Team_In_12_Hours

    Strong in him, the Force is...

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    when do we see the new cartoon?

    by OneintenMan

    that's it really, i didn't really read the article.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST

    wanna see a good horror movie/comedy

    by tolomey

    then watch Severance, just this sec finished watching it and I really loved it. Better than Grudge 1 anyway (so did you really expect 2 to be better? Ring 2 for example?) Besides the original Japanese Grudge was shit just beacause bBuffy is in it won't make it better!!! Ok, rant over, move along, move along

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Let me summarize the Grudge movies.

    by rbatty024

    Person hears a noise and investigates and then some weird thing pops out; person hears a noise and investigates and then some weird thing pops out; person hears a noise and investigates and then some weird thing pops out, etc., etc., etc.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 5:25 p.m. CST

    "this one takes the fucking take"

    by Lando Griffin

    mmmmm take /Homer Simpson. I love take, especially chocolate fudge take. But the only time I really have take is on my birthday.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 5:39 p.m. CST

    The Grudge/Ju-On are great...

    by The Dum Guy

    Not really. I hope this thing tanks, 'cause the trailer itself just screams "SuckFest".

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 6:38 p.m. CST

    I'd rather watch Prairie Home Companion

    by DOGSOUP

    for a scarier film....

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Ever going to pick a winner, Massawyrm?

    by Da Coach

    Seems like it's been a while.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Another piece of crap

    by alienindisguise

    Who the hell finds a chick that walks like she has scoliosis and ratty hair scary?

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Yes, Hollywood remakes Japanese horror...

    by CTU Mole

    But then Japanese horror is mostly a ripoff of "The Changeling". Dead kids...they're scary. I've seen and am a fan of almost every slasher film ever made (except Chaos, bitches) and IMO the scariest movies I've ever seen are The Shining and The Sixth Sense. Why? Because children who either see the dead or are dead themselves are scary. Why don't these movies have sequels? Be cause it's scary once. A second and third time? Not so much.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 7:10 p.m. CST

    I'm a big Ju-On/The Grudge fan, but...

    by themikejonas

    This movie does not interest me at all, from what I've seen and heard about it. I think what a lot of audience members are unable to grasp (through no fault of their own), and what Takashi Shimizu himself seems to have forgotten, is that the Ju-On franchise was a spoof of/response to all the "we're cursed but if we unravel the mystery we'll be saved from the freaky longhaired female ghost" movies that hit Asia on the heels of Ring(u). It was a clever perversion of the formula--screw the origins of the curse, screw the escape clause, screw the "rules" of the curse (seven days and what not)'re just plain screwed; screw the slow builds and revelations, it's setup and scare and setup and scare. It was a fun twist on a tired genre; the problem is, they decided to bring it to the U.S. where that context was lost--at the time, all we had was Samara, and so The Grudge couldn't make the same statement. Had they held off on making the movie until Dark Water, Phone, One Missed Call, and all those unravel-the-curse Japanese remakes irritated the hell out of us, The Grudge would've been far more effective as a nail in the genre's coffin.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 7:27 p.m. CST


    by SirSpike

    For everyone that comments about how these movies aren't scary, I'd point out that movies like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Saw movies aren't scary, either. They're just disgusting and excessively gory. Gods, talk about a lack of coherent story! Psychotic serial killers and bizarre, convoluted methods of death? Cut, print, snore. I don't care what anyone says...I'm still going to see this movie because I liked the first remake and I LOVED the original Ju-On films. The Japanese know how to handle horror movies. They stake a darker territory. I think characters like Ju-On's Kayako and Ringu's Sadako are far more terrifying than Leatherface and Jigsaw.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 7:40 p.m. CST

    NyQuil NyQuil NyQuil, we love you: YOU GIANT FUCKING Q!

    by Moonraper

    'nuff said.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 10:18 p.m. CST

    What's all the fuss

    by fs20rh

    I don't quite understand the fuss about this movie. Every review I read of this movie goes to great lengths to tear it apart like it promised to be a masterpiece of filmmaking. I saw it this morning and really it's harmless.It's not great, but i hardly thought it was the worst film I've seen this year. It was what I expected it to be after having seen the original films and the american remake. I think the biggest problem with the movie is just that it's directed by somebody who clearly wants to be directing something else. His visuals are decent and he knows how to create some satisfyingly creepy moments, but there's nothing new and obviously a boredom on that end.I don't think any of the actors had direction so a lot of the acting feels flat or completely over the top. Even still I would recommend it for people with time to waste, just don't go in expecting horror's second coming because you will be thoroughly disappointed.

  • Oct. 13, 2006, 10:49 p.m. CST

    I'd just like to say for the record

    by beefywhore

    That I have had a few days to think about it now, and I stand firmly with my original statement... Head from Amber Tamblyn would be awesome!!! Oh and this movie will choke like Mamma Cass.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 12:56 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    of course the grudge 2 is shit... the story I want to hear about is why AICN pulled the Mirajeff review after all the negative feedback...his choice? harry's? because it was a bad review? because it was a negative review? because the talkbackers complained?

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 4:04 a.m. CST

    Pretty much nailed it...

    by Johnmischief54

    Had to watch this crap with my thirteen year old brother. It was cool, we had an in depth conversation about how much the movie sucked balls afterwards at KFC. Nothing like bonding with the bro. Side note. If I was walking down the street and I saw a blond chick in a phone booth getting strangled by long black hair , I would probably run over and try to help the bitch out. That or sneek a grab. PEACE

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 4:29 a.m. CST

    Where's the new avatar?

    by BannedOnTheRun

    I vote for either the taun-taun or the one where you're sodomizing the Prophet Muhammed on top of a burning Koran.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 4:49 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    spelling it "Koran" is so last week...where's Mirajeff's banned review?!

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Funny, I thought I was the only one who thought...

    by brokentusk

    That the original GRUDGE (remake) was a load of shit. In fact, I remember walking out and saying to my mates, "That didn't have a storyline - it was just a series of scenes involving characters we don’t give two shits about being killed in various ways." I won't be seeing this sequel.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 6:54 a.m. CST


    by Kizeesh

    But why was the original Ju-on better? I don't know and in fact I don't care. I lent my imported DVD to a girl I knew 3 years ago and haven't bothered getting it back yet.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Easily the worst movie i've ever seen

    by MattFini

    The Grudge 2 was the worst thing I've ever seen on film. It was so abyssmal that I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    It's not that bad!

    by gregburnscds

    For Christ's sake, I'm sick and tired of hearing people bad mouth every single horror film that ever gets made. Let's check our hypocrisy, shall we? How often do new movies come out and then we hail the original ones as being the ultimate classic? Everyone panned the texas chainsaw massacre (the original), and friday the 13th, among others, but those all seem to be classics now. So let's see in a year or so when The Grudge 3 comes out how many people will be praising the original 2? And as far as character development goes--do you really need to be spoonfed your characters like so many hollywood schlock movies. Yes, the filmmakers should apologize to the audience for assuming that they had any intelligence beyond a grade 9 level.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 1:34 p.m. CST

    evil dead 2 is not a remake

    by zombieslayer

    the only similar parts happen during the recap in the first ten minutes that establishes ash is in a cabin with candarian demon zombies, and the his headless girlfriend is buried out front. That's it.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 3:05 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Plant planty McPlant plant.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    much better than mirajeff's review

    by Bob C. Cock

    and it still got the point across that this movie is SHIT

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Woman sounds like a frog. Kid sounds like a cat.

    by Christopher3

    That's these films in a nutshell.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 7:30 p.m. CST


    by beefywhore

    To answer your question "And as far as character development goes--do you really need to be spoonfed your characters like so many hollywood schlock movies." Yes. Character developement is an important part of any genre of film. And as much money as we the fans spend on these movies, its not too much to expect the people making them to cover all the bases, and making us care about the people you are going to kill in front of us is pretty important to us. Not that you'd understand this, but its insulting to those of us who ARE educated past a 9th grade level when we spend our hard earned dollars on a horror film and then expected to care about characters that haven't done anything to make us care about them. The fact that its a horror film is not an excuse to put out a half-assed product.

  • Oct. 14, 2006, 9:51 p.m. CST

    stale characters

    by gregburnscds

    Hmm, I saw the film and got a pretty rounded character developmental assumption. Perhaps it's because I dared to infer meaning as opposed to being dictated it through the medium. I got a consistent disturbed atmosphere throughout the entire film which influenced the character descisions. And after all, who the hell cares about what makes a character tick if they're going to be offed within seconds. Any sad attempt at supposed 'character development' i've seen in a horror is laughable and only makes you want that character to die faster. I enjoyed watching these actors play more subtle characters where the impression of who they were--not events that happened to them--came across through their behaviours and inter-relations with the other characters on screen. But that's just my post-grade 9 education speaking.

  • Oct. 15, 2006, 8:43 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    That's twice in as many posts that you've mentioned your "post-grade 9 education". Describing the state of the current Hollywood horror output as being anything other than cookie-cutter, focus group-formed, anemic horseshit either makes you a studio shill or a tasteless cretin of gargantuan proportions. Judging by your inferiority-driven need to mention your "post-nine grade education" in every post could mean you're either one of those two things. It's because of people like you that we're continuously "treated" to abysmal shit like the Fog remake, Thirteen Ghosts and The Cave.

  • Oct. 15, 2006, 11:28 a.m. CST


    by gregburnscds

    Wow, you've succumbed to the "I know you are, but what am I" defense. I don't buy it.

  • Oct. 15, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Maybe if I understood what that final post meant, I might be able to respond. I guess my "post-grade 9 education" is failing me here.

  • Oct. 15, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by gregburnscds

    I guess so.

  • Oct. 15, 2006, 12:40 p.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    oh snap...

  • Oct. 16, 2006, 6:43 a.m. CST


    by Halloween68

    The original Japanese sequel was pretty bad too. The question is is this bad sequel better or worst than the original bad sequel? If it counts for anything... The trailor looks better. But, dudes, one thing for sure. The hands in the hair thing is done. It had a one gimic life. Trying to reshelf it for another go is just sad.

  • Oct. 21, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    grudge 2

    by shedevil666

    The movie sucked so much! That was a waste of my time and money. I can't even believe it. I thought it was going to be good but I guess not! The previews were better than the actual movies itself. Which I think is just sad and pathetic!