Ju-on: The Curse 2 spreads its sinister revenge with atmospheric terror.
Ju-on: The Curse 2 is the second installment of the Ju-on franchise. The story of Kayako’s curse continues to haunt more people who have come in contact with it. Just like the first film, this second film is also a direct to video. It contains old characters, new ones, old footage from the first film and new and terrifying scenes with more original horror.
This film is also divided into different smaller segments based on the experiences of the characters when they are affected by the curse. The first film told us only the beginning, but now it spreads like an oil stain causing mayhem and death.
After we are shown Kobayashi visiting Toshio in the house, we follow Kyoko and her brother Tatsuya and his son Nobuyuki who all become haunted by Kayako’s curse. Tatsuya is a real estate agent and bought the house after the Murakami’s were either found dead or went missing. Now he has sold it to Yoshimi Kitada and her husband, but at a great cost.
Not only does Kayako possess Yoshimi, but she also comes after Tatsuya, Kyoko and Nobuyuki. What makes matters even worse is that Tatsuya recently moved into a new apartment. The apartment where Kobayashi’s pregnant wife was killed…
Why you would watch it
Although the first half hour of the movie is mostly footage of Kobayasi who visits Toshio and about Tatsuya and Kyoko visiting the house, which is the same footage we already saw in the first film, the story moves on with the latter two. Told in 6 different segments the curse spreads and becomes more sinister every time.
Because three segments deal with the same family the story feels more coherent than the first film. Also the atmosphere is much more disturbing due to very creepy images concerning Takeo Seiko and what he did to Kobayashi’s wife. Shot in black and white like an old film projecting in a room gives it also a surreal feel, making it all the more disturbing.
But there’s much more to explore in the disturbing world of the curse. Kyoko is gone mad, and is brought to her parents who also succumb to the sinister curse, creating a really uncomfortable vibe. There’s less blood and gruesomeness, but more creepy images and weird behavior and disturbing events.
The film is highly visceral in nature, showing the story instead of telling exactly what is going on. The characters don’t have a clue either. The curse affects them, it just happens to them, without them being able to do anything about it. That’s what makes it really terrifying. There’s nothing to fight, there’s nowhere to escape. Everyone who has entered the house after Kayako and Toshio and the cat Mar were killed, is now either dead or missing.
Or gone mad, like Yoshikawa the detective who handled the case back then. He is visited by detective Kamio and his new young partner IIzuka, but they also fall victim to the curse.
Some deaths caused by, or contacts with Toshio and Kayako are very creepily shot. Original scares, creepy movements, even the places where they show up, are truly scary and surreal, creating an overall horrifying vibe. Sometimes it’s even such a matter of fact out of the blue kill, that it is most disturbing and which you didn’t see coming. In other scenes Kayako is haunting people, coming after them in her very scary walk-crawl.
Although slightly the same, but also different to the first film, the universe of Kayako’s curse expands into something that has gotten a life of its own, spreading and killing. The last segment is an excellent well-shot scene of only the house and a conversation that takes place within with probably the new residents. It’s a foreboding scene, because we all know what’s coming for them especially after she drank the sake that tasted bad…
My favorite part
The segment where Tatsuya brings Kyoko home to their parents and their father explains that he and Kyoko have psychic powers, the supernatural expands beyond the curse itself. It also creates some very disturbing scenes that follow, when the mother is laughing and giggling while looking at a catatonic Kyoko. It’s very strange and highly disturbing. And from thereon it gets even worse and more scary. Even for Nobuyuki who seems to have escaped it all. But once in the classroom, the creepiness starts and is relentless and even more scary and terrifying, resulting in unexplainable images, but scary they are indeed.
Scare factor: ★★★★☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★☆☆
Originality factor: ★★★★☆
Read more about Ju-on:
- Ju-on: The Curse (2000) review
- Ju-on: The Grudge (2002) review
- Ju-on: The Grudge 2 (2003) review
- Ju-on: Origins season 1 review
Cast and crew
Ju-on: The Curse 2 is directed and written by Takashi Shimizu. It stars Yūrei Yanagi (Kobayashi), Ryōta Koyama (Toshio), Takako Fuji (Kayako), Takashi Matsuyama (Takeo), Yūko Daike (Kyoko), Makoto Ashikawa (Tatsuya), Tomohiro Kaku (Nobuyuki), Taro Suwa (Kamio) and Kahori Fujii (Yoshimi Kitada).
Duration: 76 minutes. Music: Geirȋ Ashiya. Cinematography: Nobuhito Kisuki. Produced by: Takashige Ichise, Kazuo Katō, Masaaki Takashima. Production company: Toei Video Company.