The Grudge 2 Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
When studios decide not to hold any advance screenings for a particular film, it’s usually a sign of a lack of confidence in a movie. Not surprisingly The Grudge 2 was brought into the marketplace with little fanfare, leaving me to attend an after school matinee on opening day. Thankfully, the crowd of young teens helped make the hour-and-a-half-long sit a little more entertaining.
Presented in a non-linear fashion (as was the first Grudge), this second edition of the Japanese horror franchise jumps around in time and location faster than a rollercoaster. (I’m obviously not the only confused patron—a thread on the movie’s IMDB page has many others asking “what happened” questions.)
Sarah Michelle Gellar returns as Karen Davis, but only for a short while (it seems Gellar is moving on to bigger and better things). Her character meets an untimely demise (we could say she drops dead) minutes into the movie, just after her sister Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn) arrives in Tokyo to check on her. Horrified (and my teen companions scream on cue), Aubrey sets out to learn what killed her sister. The first point of her investigation is the mysterious house where it all began in The Grudge 1.
Meanwhile in another place and time, and shown from the perspective of the boy next door (Matthew Knight), a possessed young woman in Chicago (Arielle Kebbel) cowers in her bedroom chopping off her hair. So it appears the same evil Japanese spirit has made its way to the US of A…
But such plot points are really incidental (which is a good thing in this confusing, poorly written mess). What the filmmakers really want you to concentrate on is catching a glimpse of the whitened face that dons the poster of this film. Director Takashi Shimizu uses every opportunity to put his distressed creature into as many film frames as possible, be it in a reflection or peeking around a darkened doorway. While not particularly distressing for a jaded adult watching his third movie of the day, the targeted adolescent audience responded throughout with the hoped-for shrieks of terror (or perhaps delight).
Yet it is more likely that the scenes accompanying these frightful, ghostly images will be the ones creating the greatest concerns for family viewing. Content found here includes the depiction of two gruesome deaths—one where a person falls from a building and hits the sidewalk in front of the camera, and another depicting a victim attacked and killed by a broken neck. The idea of spiritual possession and exorcism is also discussed. Sexual content is limited to one instance when a very young looking girl accompanies a man to a hotel room. Inside, she waits in bed while he showers (we see his naked back). A few mild profanities are heard and a secondary character that smokes incessantly is shown.
While this movie isn’t anywhere near as black and gory as other current choices featuring chainsaws, it is still a dark little “thrill ride.” Parents with teens clamoring for an inkling of horror will want assess what shades of gray meet their family’s standards.Starring Amber Tamblyn, Jennifer Beals, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Running time: 102 minutes. Theatrical release October 12, 2006. Updated February 13, 2012
The Grudge 2
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Grudge 2 rated PG-13? The Grudge 2 is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality.
Two killings—one involving a fall from a building and the other a depicted choking with gruesome sound effects—are the darkest scenes in this movie that also involves mythic spirituality, possession and discussion of exorcism. Many scenes are intended to scare, usually by including an image of a ghost. Other disturbing depictions include a young girl drinking milk and then vomiting it back into the bottle, a ghost pulling people off buildings and into full bathtubs. In another scene, a woman pours hot fat on a man’s head, then hits him with the pan and knocks him unconscious. Sexual content involves a young girl (who appears to be a prostitute) waiting in a bed for a showering man (his upper naked back is shown). A secondary character is a chain smoker. Language includes a handful of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Page last updated February 13, 2012
The Grudge 2 Parents' Guide
Because this movie’s premise is based on possession of bodies by evil spirits, parents may want to be prepared to speak about their feelings regarding this topic. Why do you think this concept is so popular in horror movies?
The most recent home video release of The Grudge 2 movie is February 6, 2007. Here are some details…
The Grudge 2 comes to DVD in two editions. The original theatrical version is accompanied by deleted scenes, a cast and crew Reel Change Montage, and three featurettes: East Meets West, Grudge 2: Storyline Development, and Ready When You Are, Mr. Shimizu. If that is not enough scare for you, there is also an Unrated Director’s Cut. This version offers all of the aforementioned bonus materials plus two additional featurettes: Holding a Grudge: Kayako & Toshio and Tales from the Grudge (with an introduction from Sam Raimi).
Related home video titles:
Ghost stories have been haunting movies for many years. The Others and The Sixth Sense are two that are bound to send shivers up your spine (but should be carefully considered before showing to teen audiences). Alfred Hitchcock masterfully creates suspense without supernatural means in the films, Rear Window and Lifeboat.