The Grudge 2

The Grudge 2

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Paul Griffiths

Read Paul Griffiths's film review of The Grudge 2

With writer-director Takashi Shimizu’s US-remake Grudge 2 coming to cinemas on 20th October, Premier Asia brings us the two-disc release of his original Japanese sequel to get us in the mood.

The widescreen picture is definitely more than serviceable, with the dark, encroaching corners of rooms remaining creepily dark and generally white drizzle-free. The 5.1 DD and DTS soundtracks make good use of their positionals to ramp up the creepy music and sound effects at the right moments. Surrounds bring out just as much in these J-horror films as they do the big-bang blockbusters.

Copy picture

There are enough extras to spread across two discs - but we’ve all known for a long time that quantity does not necessarily mean quality. Here we get a real mixed bag, but best of the bunch has got to be Asian film buff Bey Logan’s audio commentary. Anyone who has heard Logan before will know what to expect. It’s another non-stop torrent of interesting facts and titbits about the film, the series, the actors, the production and modern Japanese culture in general. As engaging and informative as ever. He’s not one for blind praise and enthusiasm, though, and will regularly tell it like it is.

Padding out the discs are a selection of international trailers and some sequences from promotional tours and a premiere. The last two are short and of little substance. There’s also footage of a dramatic recreation of the film’s Kayako character live on stage. This, frankly, beggars belief.

The very short making of doc is better fare, with subtitled contributions from the principal cast members. Similarly, the Behind the Scenes featurette is fairly enjoyable, again with subtitles, but offers no real talking heads to guide you. Much longer than the doc it shows you how a number of scenes were put together – and there’s plenty of footage of those wigs to keep you amused.

House of Horrors is an interactive trip through the haunted house (well, heavily edited and flickering still photos of it), letting you click on various icons, which then jump to small excerpts from behind the scenes footage and interviews with Shimizu. It must have sounded good on paper, but is only mildly diverting or actually downright irritating depending on how fussed you are about getting more facts about the film. When you do get to Shimizu he waxes interestingly about the production and about having to shoot the same story for US and European audiences.

Much easier to watch the Master of Horror interview with Shizimu, in which he talks about a number of aspects of the story, the production and his cast.

There are four deleted scenes. Three really are superfluous to the piece, with only the last one adding a little more context.

Further Attractions includes trailers and DVD info on other Premier Asia titles such as Ong-Bak, Brotherhood, Crying Fist, Initial D, High School and finally the first Grudge, which is a reminder of how well they did it first time around.

On the whole, while it won’t help the disappointment some felt with the film, there’s just enough extra here (despite the promotional nonsense) to tide a Shimizu fan some way over to, yep, his next sequel, The Grudge 3, out in 2007.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2006
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The Grudge 2 packshot
The chain of J-horror continues. Shimizu's original sequel is out to own on double-disc DVD just in time for his US remake.
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Product Code: CTD51062

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 anamorphic widescreen

Sound: Japanese DTS, Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Bey Logan audio commentary, original theatrical trailer, UK theatrical trailer, Japanese premiere footage, Taiwanese and Korean promotional campaigns, Kayako on stage, The Making of The Grudge 2, Behind The Scenes featurette, interview with the director, deleted scenes, House of Horrors interactive journey, further attractions

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