We value your support now more than ever.

All year we’ve been covering the issues that matter most to you—the pandemic, the election, policing, housing, and more—and now our end of year membership campaign is here. Will you support our work to ensure we can bring you the same informative local reporting in 2021?

Don’t you hate it when you’re feeling around for your cell phone and grab a cold, gray foot instead? Ghostly body parts play a big part in The Grudge 2, Japanese writer-director Takashi Shimizu’s reimagining of his own Ju-on: The Grudge 2. The stories are different—with both of the American translations co-written by Stephen Susco—but really, it doesn’t matter. In fact, you may as well play the trailer over and over again for about 95 minutes and save your bucks. All of the films involve a Tokyo home in which a man murdered his wife and son. His viral rage, along with the victims’ wraiths, lives on in the house, cursing everyone who enters and the people with whom they come into contact. (There’s more, but good luck piecing it together.) Sarah Michelle Gellar played Karen, a Japan-based hospice nurse assigned to take care of a nearly comatose woman who lived there, in the 2004 movie. Here, the character’s sister, Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn), is sent by their mom to bring Karen back to Chicago—and, surprise, pays the house a visit. Other main characters include a few dim schoolgirls and a reporter (Edison Chen) who befriends the baffled Aubrey. Shimizu has a solid grasp on creepy, especially with the wife, whose slow-moving, cracked-neck figure and long, in-her-face locks—which render her awfully similar to another J-horror character, The Ring’s Samara—make for a chilling visual as she pops up with her mewling blue son pretty much everywhere. But couldn’t the franchise’s creator give this pair of films some help in the disturbing department? (Tamblyn and Chen’s god-awful acting doesn’t count.) Their appearances end in lame payoffs, too, usually a mere switch of scene but occasionally with a character getting, say, haired to death. And then, just like in 2004’s version, it repeats: someone cautiously sneaking around a corner, catching a glimpse of the spooks or their appendages, and…standing there, mouth agape. Here’s a crazy idea: How about running away? The script contains the requisite dreadful horror-movie dialogue, such as Aubrey’s “I don’t know what to believe anymore!” You’ll be looking at your watch way before she figures it out.—Tricia Olszewski