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Wednesday, June 19
The Indiana Daily Student

Hold a "Grudge" against this movie

Seriously, the movie's even lamer than that pun

"The Grudge 2" follows the spread of the curse that haunted Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) in "The Grudge." The ghostly mother and child are back, but they are less frightening this time around, as they don't have many new tricks. For example, the little boy still meows, but it is no longer as disconcerting as in "The Grudge." His mother's long black hair is still showing up unexpectedly to remind those who have seen her that she will not leave them alone. What's new in this film is that the curse is somehow spreading beyond those who enter the house in Tokyo, where Karen Davis (whose role in this film is minimal) as well as those who did not survive the previous film were exposed to the vengeful ghosts. \nThe film entwines three separate plots. The strongest of the three is concerned with Aubrey Davis (Amber Tamblyn), Karen's sister, who travels to Tokyo to help her sister who is in the hospital and suspected of murder, after the traumatic events of "The Grudge." Aubrey is, of course, targeted by the grudge. What makes her story interesting is that in her quest to stop the curse, she uncovers some back story which does not fully explain the grudge but, at the very least, adds an interesting layer to audiences' understanding of the curse. Unfortunately, Tamblyn's screen presence is lackluster in this film, and despite the films calculated effort to inspire sympathy for her character, she falls pretty flat.\nOutshining Tamblyn is Arielle Kebbel ("John Tucker Must Die"), who plays a schoolgirl lured into the house on a bet from popular classmates. She is a much more sympathetic character and plays her role well. Sadly, her character's action is rather tired and seems for the most part to exist in order to provide the film with filler.\nThe other story line involves an American family which seems to be involuntarily reliving the family conflicts that set the curse in motion. The three storylines eventually converge, if only weakly, for a rather uninspired climax. \nOne cannot help but wonder if the film is divided in such a manor because the screenwriters were unable to come up with an idea for a single plot that could sustain an entire film. On the other hand, the film succeeds in communicating its central idea -- that the curse still exists and is spreading more rapidly than ever. If only it were more entertaining than that.

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