The J-horror craze is near its end but Hollywood is still trying to cash in with The Grudge 2, starring Hong Kong’s very own Edison Chen. Is the The Grudge still scary despite nearly half a dozen sequels and is Edison any good in his Hollywood debut??
The answer to the first question is simple : The Grudge 2 is still decently scary but has lost the freshness that made the original Japanese Ju On such a success. Director Takashi Shimizu’s camera work continues to create chilling scenes and despite being an American production, the film does offer J-horror’s eerie atmospherics.
As for Edison Chen, I found his performance at best wooden. Most Asian actors stumble with the dialogue – which is not the case with Edison. His English sounds perfectly natural and fine – but he lacks the ability to make us feel his character’s sense of fear and desperation. Well, at least, he looks cool on screen.
As an aside, Takako Fuji (the boy who plays the naked little boy ghost) has grown quite a bit since he first played the role in Ju On. I found it a bit odd that a “ghost” would grow up. I think they need to hire another child to play this role if they are going to make another sequel.
Verdict : watchable if not exceptional