Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ju-On 2 (this review might be spoiler-y)

 If you know that sound, you might have some idea about what this article is about. But I bet, at this moment in time, you won't have any idea of the amount of crazy and supposition that is going to happen in this "review". Be warned.

This afternoon I decided to sit down and watch Takashi Shimizu's Ju-On 2, 2003's sequel to the 2000 Ju-On. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, these are the movies that were re-made in the US starring Sarah Michelle Gellar under the name of The Grudge.

Pictured: Not the movie I watched. 
Now, here comes the section of the review where I try to compare the two series somewhat. Keeping in mind that I saw the re-make of the original in theaters, but only saw part of the original on tv one night; and the reverse is true for the sequels. I have seen the original Ju-On 2 all the way, but not all of the re-make. This gives me lots of speculation room as to how the two series are not similar. For starters I kind of think Kayako (the Grudge ghost) probably does not come raging out of Sarah Michelle Gellar's vagina at any time in the US re-makes. Just saying.

I am also thinking that, aside from horrible Grudge birth, the plots aren't going to be that much similar between the two sequels. Ju-On 2 is about a film crew, and an actress specifically. Which is not what SMG character was in the first re-make. I also tend to think that, theme wise, the movies are not really that similar. While both feature the aspect of Kayako cursing anyone who meets her as she is a grudge the overall feeling I got from Ju-On 2 and what I've seen of Ju-On was that it is presented more like a disease. The re-makes had more of an outsider living in a completely different culture vibe. I can go further here and say that the grudge infection in the re-makes seems to be focused more on a foreigner trying to resist being assimilated into the different culture.

There, I was a good reviewer and even tried to go a little deep for a minute there! Now it's time to get back to doing what I do best... not really reviewing things!

So, Ju-On 2. I enjoyed it. There was some really good, unsettling filmography going on. Rather than being in your face about everything, much of the ghost stuff seemed to be really subtle. Things that you wouldn't notice right away. This is the trend my mother complains about the most in US horror, everything is so in your face.

The movie is not presented in a linear format (that one took me a minute to figure out) and each character that comes into contact with Kayako has their story shown. One of these characters seemed tacked in for extra padding; her story was presented differently than the other characters and I had no idea who she was when they first started her segment because she had appeared for less than a minute in an early scene. I'm not sure why she was there, really. Well, I know why she was in the earlier scene, but I'm not sure what made her special and singled out.

Most of the rest of the characters are dealt with in the same format. They go into Kayako's house, and then they die. The main character, Kyoko, lasts a little longer and has some different stuff happen to her. This is expected, she's the heroine. The other girl, not so much.

Anyway. Rather than just being killed, Kyoko survives a car accident with her boyfriend who is put into a coma and sent to the hospital of death. That's probably not it's real name, but that's what I like to call it. I would not be visiting that hospital anytime soon. Really inept staff, we'll get to them.

Kyoko has a few bumps and bruises, but begins to suspect that something is wrong with her baby/fetus after the accident. Protip spoiler: it's an evil grudge baby and you are going to name it Kayako.

People start dying, and Kyoko has some really weird stuff happen to her. Like an evil stain appearing in her house. The same evil stain that was in Kayako's house and is probably, most likely, Kayako's blood. Of course, even though Kyoko knows the stain is evil and gives her a weird feeling she sleeps in the same room as it. She really should have called someone to take care of the stain before taking a nap with it, but whatever.

The director who featured Kyoko in National Examiner type news show at the grudge house is putting all the dead/missing people pieces together and contacts Kyoko while she's at the death hospital with her, up until now comatose boyfriend to tell her of all the creepy missing people.

Now, at this point I became a little mixed up on the time frame because; Kyoko was up on the hospital roof with her boyfriend, the director contacts her, she goes to speak with him and leaves the hospital. Que scenes of more weirdness happening to the director and Kyoko, then we were interrupted by the superfluous extra who is also killed by the grudge. For some reason this girl is in the grudge house, but not, she's really only there in her mind (?) but Kyoko gets to see all this because, for some reason she is also at the grudge house (but maybe not, it could be her own house?) where the director stumbles in and finds her passed out on the floor.

He takes Kyoko to the death hospital where doctors are shocked to discover that, women go into labor when their water breaks! Seriously, all three of them stood in amazement and watched. Of course, once the lights started to flicker and evilness started to happen....

Meanwhile, Kyoko's boyfriend who happens to still be on oxygen and in a wheelchair is still on the roof by himself where he goes into convulsions. What sort of a hospital is this?

I will leave the rest up to your imagination, or for you to see for yourself. It wasn't a bad movie, I did enjoy it. There were just some absurdities that had me pausing to go...wait...really? I do think that I might have to sit down and watch the original Ju-On and The Grudge 2 so that I can get a better picture of what it is that I was watching. Right now I think I've got two puzzles that have some clear differences, but not really, and am trying to put them together.

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