Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003, JAP) C-92m. ** D: Takashi Shimizu. Starring Noriko Sakai, Chiharu Nîyama, Kei Horie, Yui Ichikawa, Shingo Katsurayama. Sequel to one of the scariest Japanese horror films since RINGU (1998) revisits the house of the first film, where a film crew want to film a documentary about the place, with horror actress Sakai taking part. The pregnant star soon starts to be haunted by the ghost of a woman and a little boy, as crew members start dying one by one. Non-linear narrative can be confusing if you are not used to Japanese faces, and film generally never manages to hit bull's-eye. Some scary sequences, to be sure, but it becomes grotesque towards the end, making this seem more like a curio than a potent horror film. Written by the director. The American THE GRUDGE 2 (2006) is not a remake of this movie (although Shimizu also directed it!).

© Ron Altman