On Saturday night, I saw Takashi Shmizu's The Grudge 2. Maybe you are considering seeing the film. Maybe you already saw it. Maybe you've never heard of it. I hope I can answer any questions you might have about the film.
What does the prologue discuss?
Anyone who dies in a fit of rage will haunt the world afterward.
Does anyone die in a fit of rage in this film?
Do they haunt anyone?
Do demons and other things jump out in a surprising manner?
Would you have enjoyed this movie more if you had seen The Grudge?
Yes and no. I would have certainly understood the mythology of The Grudge series better, but it wasn't at all a prerequisite for following the semi-existent plotline of Grudge Two. What I missed was that the revenge plotline of G-One featured a murdered woman who died in a rage, but the sequel retroactively grants her supernatural powers of revenge. In the original, she was mad about being murdered, but in the sequel, her restless ghost seeks vengeance for an innumerable series of wrongs.
The main thing I missed by not seeing G-One was that, having seen it, I would have probably never paid to see G-Two.
Was there any awkward dialogue?
SPOILER! Sarah Michelle Gellar is throttled and tossed off a roof by a vengeance demon or a ghost or something. Since these demons seem to have the ability to move people from room to room and floor to floor with no trouble, it's not clear why a ghostly hand needs to shove her, rather than phase her into a new location in mid-air. Nevertheless, SMG is tossed off a roof. After this happens, we cut to SMG's sister, Joan of Arcadia, walking out of the hospital, pursued by the journalist from Hong Kong, who speaks perfect Japanese and English. Here's the dialogue as we the audience wait for AMG's body to fall:
Journalist: I wanted to talk to you.
JOA: No. (Walks forward)
Journalist: Wait. I wanted to talk to you about your sister. (Finally, body falls.)
What would the Strokes say about the work of Tokyo's security guards and police officers?
Tokyo cops, they ain't too smart.
What are the themes of G-Two?
G-Two features many family conflicts. Joan of Arcadia's mother is dying of cancer, and seems to hate her daughter. Joan says on a few occasions that her mother is indifferent to her. The journalist reveals that he never saw his brother in Hong Kong, though he lived down the street from him for years. We don't learn why they were so estranged.
Joan and SMG are similarly estranged, not having talked for years. Joan says it was because SMG "dropped a college application on her, just like Mom." Indifferent Mom apparently wanted Joan to go to college as well. Joan finally tells her cancerous mother that cancer mom can no long talk to her in such a dismissive manner before SPOILER! Joan is killed by a ghost/revenge demon. /SPOILER!
After reunions with estranged family members, subjects can expect live six-to-seven more minuts, tops. The lesson seems to be, stay estranged, otherwise you might be killed by a ghost/revenge demon.
Based on what you saw in G-Two, who in Japan speaks English?
High school girls, Japanese police officers in taped interviews with one another, and old shaman women in parts of rural Japan that can only be reached by traveling by bus and train.
Did Sarah Michelle Gellar have any insights about the film's bizarre, incomprehensible structure?
In the DVD extras of The Grudge, or G-Prime, Sarah Michelle Gellar explains that G-Prime is a "non-linear story, which means it doesn't have a beginning, middle, or end."
What is the weirdest scene in G-Two?
A girl goes to her friend's apartment to show off her new cheerleader uniform. The friend, quite affable earlier in the film, responds by silently chugging a half-gallon of milk. As the cheerleader watches with mild surprise, the friend begins vomiting the milk back into the bottle. Halfway through her vomiting session, the cheerleader gets a call on her cell phone. She answers, has a short conversation, and leaves, while the friend continues to vomit milk back into its container.
When does the film's cheapest surpise occur?
Cheerleader opens a closet in her house. She slowly looks at the wall, which is covered in snapshots of her family. Only after fifteen seconds does she notice her brother, who is sitting in the middle of the closet, unhidden, undisguised, directly in her line of sight, perhaps 30 inches away. Then, she gasps in surprise.
Is the big end-of-movie reveal surprising?
Not one bit. Even the slowest of moviegoers figured out who the girl in the hoodie was about 45 minutes before her identity was revealed. In fact, the only reason she was wearing the hoodie was to disguise her identity for the reveal - none of the characters in the movie would have been affected in any way by knowing her true identity.
Was the entire movie planned out before shooting began?
One friend commented that the movie seemed to have been shot on the fly. The scenes lead into one another so abruptly that they may well have been improvising.
"Cut! A cat wandered into the shot!"
"Wait. Maybe we can use that."
"Cut! You left your cell phone on!"
"Wait. Maybe we can use that."
"Is anyone going to eat this disgusting leftover bacon from the commissary?"
"Save it! I have an idea."
What are the powers of these ghosts/revenge demons?
1. Appearing in photographs, but then also the real world.
2. Shifting revenge subjects through small geographical distances.
3. Making black stringy hair grow on people.
4. Turning into black cats, which then turn into pale Japanese children.
5. Killing people and also making them disappear, but sometimes just leaving them as corpses to scare people.
6. Appearing in mirrors to scare people.
7. Text messaging.
8. Killing their abusive witch mothers via fear.
9. Making their dead victims appears as ghosts to scare future victims.
Can you stop the revenge demons?
No. They kill you if you visit the haunted house. Or if you know someone who visited the haunted house. Or live near someone who visited the haunted house. Look, the demons are going to kill you, OK?
What happens if you don't solve the mystery of the revenge demons?
What happens if you do solve the mystery of the revenge demons?
Does covering your windows with old newspapers you found in the trash protect you from revenge demons?
Why was that girl attending the International high school in Tokyo if her parents still lived in Chicago?
To learn Japanese kanjis and SPOILER! be killed by revenge demons /SPOILER!
Is G-Two scary?
It is, in the same way that someone coming into your office, sneaking around on all fours, and yelling, "Boo!" at random intervals would be scary. Since there is no story arc, goals, or plot points, it is not particularly suspenseful.
Finally, can I expect to hear a contortionist lady make a weird croaking sound for about thirty minutes?