Ju-On 2 review by The Grim Ringler

Alas, alack, if only this were as good as its big brother. But no. Instead of a chilling follow up to an incredibly scary ghost story we have a very bland re-hash devoid of anything interesting save some scraps of a scare here and there.

Ju-On 2 starts at the beginning of the first film, re-telling the story that started it all in the original Ju-On (a teacher goes to check on his young student, ends up finding the mother has been murdered and the kid is three steps from ok and well, after a call from the father telling him he’s just murdered the teacher’s wife and unborn child, and then things get rough when the kid, Toshio, starts meowing like a cat and the mom crawls down the stairs for the teacher she has obsessed about for so long. EEK!), and then about half way into the film the new story picks up. The sequel follows the curse, or the grudge if you translate what Ju-On means, as it takes more victims. This time it is the owner of the house that Toshio and his mother, the two main ghosts, had lived, that finds the curse upon he and his family, his sister going mad and their parents both being killed. Another angle the story follows is that of a school boy the landlord’s son, that has so far survived the grudge but finds himself followed by the spirits to his school, where they soon possess, or so it would seem, all the children at the school. The film ends with the grudge still unfulfilled and growing still…waiting for more victims.

The great thing about the first one was that it was so bizarre and scary that it was hard not to have it get under your skin. The ghostly visage of the child Toshio as he meowed when people weren’t looking or when he skittered about in the backgrounds, was harrowing stuff. As were the images of his mother as she shambled at her victims, black hair hanging limply in her face until she was but inches in front of the person, where she’d show them her dead eyes. The hell of it with the sequel is that half of the film is wasted on a re-cap, which makes no sense. It ruins any tension and really, undermines the rest of the film and what it could have been. Hell, if you hadn’t seen the first one, then don’t watch the second! And the hauntings in the sequel are just too weird to really have any effect save for some brief moments. Heck, the silly thing even stole a scene straight out of Ringu, the Asian version of The Ring. Ugh. All of this is nothing more than frustrating to the Nth degree as the first one set up a great premise, and a great mythos about Toshio and his mother. It’s my hopes that the theatrical version of Ju-On is better.

The version I saw was gotten off of Ebay and was a boot on an all region disc. The first one is wonderful if you can track it down. Skip this one though.

4 out of 10 Jackasses
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