Writer/director Takashi Shimizu is back with the second instalment of his American remakes of his own Japanese hit horrors (confused yet?), in which anyone who enters a Tokyo house, where a mother and her child were murdered, is cursed to be killed by their ghosts.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred in the first 'Grudge', returns briefly here. Apparently she was surprised to be asked back as she thought she had been killed off in that seemingly self-contained movie. But not when the box office takings are that good.

The plot is confusing with three storylines that eventually intersect with everyone exposed to the same mysterious curse, which fills a person with rage before spreading to its next victim.

Allison (Kebbel), new girl at the International High School in Tokyo, is trying to get in with cool girls Vanessa (Palmer) and Miyuki (Uno). They can smell her desperation and play a joke - by taking her to the scariest house in Japan.

Meanwhile, Aubrey Davis (Tamblyn) flies to Tokyo to bring home her sister, Karen (Gellar), after she nearly dies setting fire to the haunted house. While visiting her sibling in the hospital, Aubrey meets journalist Eason (Chen), who's been tracking the curse for the last few years and wants her to help him unearth the truth.

The plot then swings to Chicago, where Trish (Beals) has just moved in with Bill (Cousins) and his kids, Jake (Knight) and Lacey (Roemer). It's not long before Jake starts hearing weird noises next door, and things take a turn for the very creepy.

Admittedly, there are a few chills to be had with some genuinely eerie images - but two-thirds in the shocks lose the jump factor as the viewer gets accustomed to the psychological scare tactics and bogged down with the disjointed plot line.

Considering there seems to be no way to stop the curse of Takashi Shimizu's ghostly mother and child, it looks like the filmmaker could spend his entire life making or rehashing sequels to his Japanese horror. Although of higher quality than the average horror effort, it's still a scary thought.

Mary McCarthy