Time: 76 Minutes
Yūko Daike as Kyoko Suzuki
Makoto Ashikawa as Tatsuya Suzuki
Kahori Fujii as Yoshimi Kitada
Yūrei Yanagi as Shunsuke Kobayashi
Ryota Koyama as Toshio Saeki
Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki
Takashi Matsuyama as Takeo Saeki
Director: Takashi Shimizu
After losing both her boyfriend and her unborn child in a car crash, Kyoko is horrified to learn that something is still growing inside her.
Ju-on: The Curse was an interesting movie, it was very flawed especially on a technical level, but it ended up being a very effective horror film. So with the follow up Ju-on: The Curse 2, I just expected more of the same and in some ways that is what it was, mostly for the worst.
Something that needs to be noted going into the film is that the first 30 minutes of this movie is the last 30 minutes of the previous film. It wouldn’t be so bad except that the runtime is 76 minutes long, meaning that this movie has 46 minutes of actual new footage. Unless you forgot the ending of the first movie, you’d be well advised to just fast forward through this section, which is easy enough. That being said, there’s still issues with it. The new story we get here is pretty much just more of the same, almost like they used up all their best ideas in the first movie, and what we see here is just leftovers. Given the short runtime it doesn’t really get to jump around to different characters like in the first movie and instead mostly follows a realtor who can’t sell the murder house (which was the subject of the last movie). It’s not as interesting and the story being so similar to what came before played a big part in that. The 46 minutes certainly doesn’t help, its needed a longer runtime to develop things better. There’s not much of substance here and its fairly forgettable. The eeriness just isn’t as strong and the carefully built atmosphere isn’t as effective. That being said, there are some memorable sequences, mainly near the end.
The direction from Takashi Shimizu is about at the same level as the first movie; lower budget and fairly standard, but sometimes that can add to the atmosphere. However, it doesn’t seem to have the same level of doom and dread that its predecessor had generated. Then again, part of that had to be with the first movie’s slow build up over the course of the runtime, where it quietly sneaks up on you. As I said before though, The Curse 2 is less than an hour long.
Even if you discounted the first 30 minutes, Ju-on: The Curse 2 has a lot of similarities to the first movie except its shorter, and not as good. If it’s possible to check out an edit with the two movies spliced together into a longer movie, that would be the best option, even if the stuff in 2 isn’t as good as in 1. Otherwise, if you enjoyed The Curse 1 then I think 2 is worth checking out (provided you skip the reused footage). I am glad I watched it at the very least.