The Grudge 2 picks up at the conclusion of The Grudge, wherein our protagonist Karen is still in the hospital after attempting to burn down the house, which holds the creepy Asian girl curse. We are then introduced to Karen's sister in Pasadena, who learns that she must travel to Tokyo to bring her sister home, despite problems they have had in the past. All doesn't go well, and the sister then tries researching how to destroy the Grudge curse once and for all. Simultaneously, other stories involving the Grudge house are told: one involving a private school exchange student entering the house on a dare, and the curse making its way to a Chicago apartment building. Sequels to horror films are simultaneously a curse and blessing. Many sub-par franchises have made most of their money on a seemingly never-ending rollout of sequels. Some of these are creative and continue the original's story (the first few Saw movies, The Ring, the first two Halloween movies) while others simply bring in a new cast, the old villain, and essentially remake the original film (the Friday the 13th series, Halloween 4-7, Saw 4-6). The Grudge 2 is in some ways original in that it does both. It continues the story of the first film's central character and how the curse will affect her and her family, while simultaneously telling a story that happens two years later to a completely different set of characters.
Aside from this novelty in story-telling, I was impressed with the scares and visual effects which outdid the first film, where all the scares essentially built on the creepy guttural sound the ghost makes. This is certainly the best of the three Grudge films (of which I'll review the third tomorrow).