THE GRUDGE 2 PRODUCTION NOTES
The following production notes were created by Sony Pictures for the October 13, 2006 theatrical release of THE GRUDGE 2. The text is © 2006 Sony Pictures. THE GRUDGE 2 will be released on DVD on February 6 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
From Sam Raimi and Columbia Pictures comes the eerie thriller THE GRUDGE 2, which explores the dark secrets behind the revenge-seeking grudge’s wrath as the terrifying supernatural curse is unleashed on a group of seemingly unrelated victims, moving out of the burned-out house and spreading everywhere.
The much-anticipated sequel to the 2004 hit THE GRUDGE, which earned over $188 million in worldwide box office receipts, stars Amber Tamblyn (JOAN OF ARCADIA), with Sarah Michelle Gellar returning briefly in the memorable role of Karen, once again under the direction of Takashi Shimizu, from a screenplay written by Stephen Susco. The producers are Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Taka Ichise.
Japanese actress Takako Fuji reprises her role as the terrorizing Kayako, Ryo Ishibashi returns in a cameo as Detective Nakagawa and nine-year-old Ohga Tanaka takes on the role of the tortured Toshio. Edison Chen (INFERNAL AFFAIRS), Arielle Kebbel (AQUAMARINE), Teresa Palmer (DECEMBER BOYS), Sarah Roemer (DISTURBIA), Jenna Dewan (STEP UP), Matthew Knight (THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED), Christopher Cousins (WICKER PARK), Jennifer Beals (THE L WORD) and Joanna Cassidy (SIX FEET UNDER) make up the rest of the ensemble cast.
Sam Raimi and Columbia Pictures Present A Ghost House Pictures Production THE GRUDGE 2 starring Amber Tamblyn, Arielle Kebbel, Jennifer Beals, Edison Chen, Sarah Roemer and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The film is directed by Takashi Shimizu from a screenplay written by Stephen Susco, based on JU-ON: THE GRUDGE written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. The producers are Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Taka Ichise. The executive producers are Joe Drake, Nathan Kahane, Roy Lee and Doug Davison. The co-producers are Michael Kirk, Drew Crevello and Shintano Shimosawa. The director of photography is Katsumi Yanagijima. The production designer is Iwao Saito. The editor is Jeff Betancourt. The costume designer is Kristin M. Burke. The music is by Christopher Young. The visual effects supervisor is Hajime Matsumoto.
THE GRUDGE 2 has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for Mature Thematic Material, Disturbing Images/Terror/Violence and Some Sensuality.
THE GRUDGE 2 will be released by Columbia Pictures on October 13, 2006.
THE GRUDGE 2 carries the infectious, vengeful curse forward as it attacks a group of seemingly unrelated individuals:
Aubrey Davis (Amber Tamblyn) discovers from her bedridden mother, Mrs. Davis (Joanna Cassidy), that her sister Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is in a hospital in Japan. She also finds out that Karen is under investigation for the death of her boyfriend in a fire she started in a house located in Tokyo. Since Mrs. Davis is too ill to make the trip, she asks Aubrey to go to Tokyo and bring her sister home. Shortly after she arrives in Tokyo, reporter and photographer Eason (Edison Chen), seeks out Aubrey to warn her that her sister, Karen, is in the thrall of something unseen and dangerous.
Allison (Arielle Kebbel) attends an international school in Tokyo. Desperately trying to fit in with the school’s “in” crowd, Vanessa (Teresa Palmer) and Miyuki (Misako Uno), she is willing to do anything they ask to get in good with them — even if it means going into a mysterious burned-down house, which was the site of several unexplained murders and strange disappearances.
The young introverted Jake (Matthew Knight) isn’t happy that his widowed father Bill (Christopher Cousins) is engaged to Trish (Jennifer Beals). Still mourning the death of his mother, he cannot understand why his older sister Lacey (Sarah Roemer) gets on so well with their soon-to-be stepmother. He also doesn’t understand why one of his next-door neighbors is being so elusive. It seems that everyone in his apartment building is acting stranger and stranger.
One by one, they are infected by the malevolent curse known as “The Grudge,” which is quickly moving out of the burned-down house in Tokyo and spreading to everyone who crosses its path.
THE GRUDGE 2: A New Beginning
When THE GRUDGE opened in October 2004, horror fans around the world embraced Takashi Shimizu’s hauntingly disturbing thriller, elevating it to almost $190 million at the global box office. The enthusiastic reaction to Takashi Shimizu’s tale of a horrifying curse that causes its victims to die in the grip of a powerful rage hit a nerve with English and non-English-speaking audiences and only whetted their appetite for more.
Shimizu decided to delve further into the fascinating revenge-seeking curse he first explored in the Japanese-language hit JU-ON. As Shimizu explains, “If THE GRUDGE 2 had been the same story as JU-ON 2, I would’ve said no to directing it, because it would no longer have been fun for me just to remake the same material. When the producers promised me a new story, however, I was eager to delve deeper into the mystery of ‘The Grudge’ character and her new victims.”
Screenwriter Stephen Susco, who adapted the first film, was given the challenge to create the next step in “The Grudge” legend. “We knew that we wanted the latest installment to blaze a new trail, to deepen and enrich the story we already knew,” he says. “So the development process was much more intensive than on the first film. We explored a variety of different storylines and a myriad of characters and continued to refine them until we had the core of a strong narrative.”
Adds Shimizu: “The mystery of the curse, which was not explained in the first GRUDGE, is now revealed. Yet, even for those who never saw the first film or any of my Japanese versions, I have told the new story in such a way that everyone can understand and enjoy it without any previous knowledge or background.”
A Multi-Story Ensemble
“While the house is still the core of this movie, the ‘Grudge’ travels to many different places in THE GRUDGE 2,” promises Shimizu. The new storylines further explore the mysteries of the “Grudge” and also demonstrate how the curse has spread beyond the doomed house where it began.
Amber Tamblyn, who stars in THE GRUDGE 2, says that what captivated her about the script was the interconnected storylines. “When I was reading the script, I remember jumping between my story and the others that were woven around it and being excited to see what was going to happen next to the other characters.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who returns in THE GRUDGE 2, offers, “From the start everyone agreed that this was scarier than the first movie, mainly because you get to meet the characters and know so much more about them personally. For example, the character of Allison, played by Arielle Kebbel, is someone the audience really gets to experience and learn what her life is about before she meets ‘The Grudge.’”
As Kebbel herself explains, “Since THE GRUDGE 2 is a horror film, there is not a lot of time for character development. Shimizu-san and I made Allison the type of character you need no words to understand. When you first see her trying to catch up to the ‘cool’ girls at the international high school, you just can’t help but feel bad for her. From her uneven socks, brown penny loafers, funny outfit, all the way down to her awkward posture … it would simply be a pity to not pity Allison.”
Already an established celebrity in Asia, Canadian-born actor Edison Chen, who makes his U.S. film debut in THE GRUDGE 2, has high praise for the screenplay. “It is easily one of the best scripts I’ve read, because it goes into so much detail about what each actor is supposed to feel,” he says.
Another cast member, Sarah Roemer, was taken with the script primarily because “it delves into the history of the first film. You find out all the reasons for the ‘Grudge.’ It’s one of the better horror scripts I’ve read in a long time, because it has so many different elements.”
For veteran actor Christopher Cousins, the fact that the storylines are interwoven throughout the movie gives it a deliberately disorienting feel. “As an audience member, you begin to identify with that sense of disorientation, which makes you feel that much more vulnerable,” he says.
Tamblyn, who shares most of her scenes with Edison Chen, agrees that unlike most horror thrillers, THE GRUDGE 2 is a character-driven film. “It is really about when the unknown becomes personal, when something gets very close and very scary, but is still unexplainable. Most horror movies don’t take the time to do that. There are things about this movie that are so creepy that I was shaking when I was reading the script! That’s what is wonderful about a good horror thriller — it keeps the audience continually on edge as it throws scary visual scenes at them.”
The cast of THE GRUDGE 2 is comprised of an international group of actors. Amber Tamblyn, Arielle Kebbel, Jennifer Beals, Christopher Cousins, Sarah Roemer, Jenna Dewan and Joanna Cassidy are American. Matthew Knight and Edison Chen are Canadian, Teresa Palmer is Australian and Misako Uno is Japanese. Working with such an eclectic cast presented new challenges for Shimizu in what is only his second English-language film. “I do not know many non-Japanese actors, so I explained to the producers the personality of each character, their importance in the story, what I required from them and how I wanted them to look. Then the producers in the U.S. picked the American actors. Taka Ichise and I then selected the Japanese actors.”
Many of the actors who landed roles in THE GRUDGE 2 were major fans of the first English-language remake and were eager to have the opportunity to work in Japan. However, 12-year-old Matthew Knight assumed that because of his storyline, he would not be making the voyage. “Once they told me I was going to Japan, I flipped out. I was so excited.” Adds Kebbel: “Besides the obvious thrill of getting to play Allison and work in Tokyo with Shimizu-san, the more subtle thrill was the opportunity to work with actors from the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. We had cultures and traditions to learn and live up to. It was a true blessing to learn how America and Americans are perceived through the eyes of a 16-year-old Japanese pop star. As for me, it was an opportunity to ask questions about the different lifestyles within those varied cultures.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar serves as a vital link between the two films, the first of which ended with her character attempting to burn down the house in the hope of destroying the vengeful Kayako. For THE GRUDGE 2, the character of Aubrey, played by Tamblyn, travels to Japan to find out what really happened to her sister, setting the wheels in motion for the new thriller, in which Gellar’s character Karen “realizes she has lost her boyfriend, the love of her life, and is basically committed to a facility that is somewhere between a hospital and a mental institution,” says Gellar. “Anyone who saw the first movie will understand that everything Karen says is real, but to the characters on screen, she sounds a bit like she’s off her rocker.”
The only character who seems to think otherwise is Karen’s sister Aubrey. “Amber was a wonderful choice for the role,” according to Gellar. “I’ve known her since she was 13 years old and I’ve always thought there was a lot about us that is very similar — the way we interact with people, how we look at the world. I don’t think the producers were even aware of those similarities until they actually saw us together.”
The Evolution of Kayako and Toshio
“A Japanese ghost is always a woman with long black hair who wears a white kimono,” explains Shimizu, which explains the memorable character of Kayako from his JU-ON movies and THE GRUDGE. As viewers of the films already know, Kayako’s black tresses engulf her victims wherever they may be — in bed, the shower — after which they soon succumb to the “Grudge” curse. “In old times, Japanese women took very good care of their hair. They thought that their long black hair had a soul and so it was very precious to them. A woman with disheveled hair, therefore, is a common representation for a ghost. Tousled hair expresses suppressed emotion, such as a deep grudge or rage, that a woman lets out in order to get her revenge.”
As for Kayako’s white kimono, Shimizu offers: “In Japan, after a person dies, we dress them in a white kimono before we put them into the coffin, thinking that the white clothing cleanses the soul of the dead so it can go to heaven. Then the body is cremated. When a dead soul appears as a ghost, it is usually wearing that burial outfit.” He admits that the combination of these two elements has resulted in a ghost that is unique and truly scary, not only for Japanese audiences, but around the world.
What makes THE GRUDGE 2 different from the previous efforts, says screenwriter Susco, is that we learn much more about Kayako. “For everyone who thought they knew everything about her, THE GRUDGE 2 will be an eye-opener. In this film we learn what makes Kayako tick. We come to understand her obsessive nature and how seeds that were planted in her past led to the fateful events we witnessed in THE GRUDGE.”
The more we learn about Kayako, says Gellar, the more emotionally attached webecome to the story. “In Japanese folklore, ghosts arise from unsettled emotions. That’s why it’s so satisfying when you finally understand Kayako’s anger and emotion.” The prototype of Kayako’s character was created by Shimizu for his first three-minute student film and he considers it his good fortune to have discovered actress Takako Fuji, who has portrayed the vengeful character ever since. “When I saw Takako in a theater performance for the first time, I knew she would be perfect for my ghost,” he says. “That feeling of inspiration she gave me 10 years ago remains with me to this day.”
“The JU-ON franchise would have never been as successful without her,” he continues. “It is all in the details. For example, notice how Takako widens her eyes. For most of us, when we do that, we actually look kind of silly. When Takako does it, however, it looks completely natural. The action doesn’t even create wrinkles at the corners of her eyes. It’s remarkable.”
Fuji says she still remembers the student film, KATEI HOMON, she made ten years ago, which was shot in just one day. Of recreating the role for the sixth time, she says, “In the beginning, I was mostly expressing Kayako’s anger. Then as we made more movies,Shimizu-san started to direct me with more feelings: ‘Kayako is crying out for help, she is sad and so on,’ he would explain. So Kayako became more human as we went along and I now try to maintain a mixture of anger and other human qualities when I play the role.” Admittedly, learning the roots of Kayako’s anger further stimulated Fuji in THE GRUDGE 2. And, she adds, “Shimizu-san’s direction has changed with this movie. He has ideas that are always surprising me.”
Tamblyn, who shares a few scenes with Kayako’s ghost, eagerly sings her praises: “Off screen, Takako is this sweet, funny girl who wears glasses. Then, she comes on stage and she has these huge dark eyes. She has these wonderful facial expressions and this way of moving her body that is truly frightening.”
The character of Toshio is Kayako’s son, whom we learn in THE GRUDGE was also brutally murdered. His appearance on screen often precedes his mother’s attacks. For the new film, Shimizu had to look for a new actor because his previous Toshio, Yuya Ozeki, had grown too tall. “If audiences noticed that Toshio’s ghost had grown up, it would take them out of the movie, so I had to find a new little boy. I had many auditions and was fortunate to find Ohga Tanaka.”
The eight-year-old Ohga Tanaka, who will be nine by the time the movie comes out, was enthusiastic about being chosen and had unique insight into his character. “Toshio just wants to make friends to play with. So when he appears suddenly, he grabs people’s hands. From my point of view, he’s not that scary. I feel sorry for him, because he was killed and left in the attic with his dead mother and his cat.”
Shock and Awe Opener
As with Shimizu’s previous movies, THE GRUDGE and the JU-ON series, THE GRUDGE 2 will also have a genuinely shocking opening with the same gasp-quotient of the previous film (in which actor Bill Pullman inexplicably jumps out the window of his highrise Tokyo apartment). Jennifer Beals is the focus on the opening sequence in this film and confesses that “the scene is really one of the primary reasons I wanted to do this film. It has one of those moments that people will always remember.”
On The Set In Tokyo
According to Christopher Cousins, working on a film in Japan was a special experience. “When we tried on our wardrobe for the first time, everyone from the different departments came in and we were introduced to them formally,” he says. “It was a fantastic way to start the process. Then, when you walk onto the set, you have to take off your shoes. It’s an acknowledgement that the space you are going into is where work is going to be done. It’s a kind of reverence for what we were going to be doing, right from the start.”
Cousins also noted that the Japanese crew was much more fluid, pitching in and taking on different duties as needed. “There was this great sense of teamwork, which made for an easy working environment and you always felt like people were there for you, to support you in your work.”
Popular Japanese singer, Misako Uno, noted a major difference between her countrymen and their American counterparts. “We Japanese tend to hold back our honest opinions, but the American cast does not. They are always straightforward and to the point, which was new and very interesting to me.”
After watching the behind-the-scenes commentaries by the actors on the DVD for THE GRUDGE, the cast for the new film was prepared for what to expect on the set in Japan. Nonetheless, there was still the language barrier with which to contend. Director Shimizu doesn’t speak English, and again relied on Chiho Asada, a simultaneous translator, to work with the cast. She accompanied Shimizu at all times so that everyone could understand what he wanted and felt free to ask him questions. “The language barrier was a much bigger deal than I originally anticipated,” admits Tamblyn, “because there are certain things that you can’t really translate through language, so I found myself using my hands, acting out like in a game of charades. Fortunately, Chiho was an amazing interpreter, able to translate not only Takashi’s words, but his inflections and rhythms as well.”
Another interesting addition in THE GRUDGE 2 is that some of the story takes place in the United States, which was a challenge for production designer Iwao Saito, who had previously worked on THE GRUDGE and JU-ON 2. “I was not sure if I could create American sets in Japan that would look real to the American audience,” he says. “I’ve lived in Japan all my life — I know Japanese culture and what is real for Japanese audiences. So I asked the producers to send me to Chicago and hire an art director who was familiar with American culture — which turned out to be John Marcynuk, who worked on many television series, such as DARK ANGEL. The production found a location in Yokohama, Japan, to serve as the exterior of the Chicago apartment building, and Saito and his team created the interior sets on Stage 9 at Toho Studios.
The Vision of Shimizu-san
Executive producer Roy Lee, who initially discovered the JU-ON movies and brought them to the attention of producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert notes, that “Shimizu-san has his own vision for this movie that would be impossible for any other director to replicate. If it hadn’t been for Shimizu-san, we would have had a different style of movie than what we saw in the original.”
Says actress Jennifer Beals: “I have never really been in a horror film before, but after seeing THE GRUDGE, I wanted to work with Shimizu-san, because I think he raises the genre to a different level. He’s smart, funny and extremely knowledgeable about the camera and very exacting. The way he makes his movies is like a creepy Robert Altman film.”
Edison Chen is similarly generous in his assessment of Shimizu’s talents. “I had seen Shimizu-san’s movies before. They are very horrifying and dark. When I got the role, I had only talked to him on the phone, so when I met him he was different from what I anticipated, a kind person who isn’t weird at all. He’s actually very funny and loves to crack jokes. I was amazed that such a funny man could create such scary movies.”
“I was quite taken with Shimizu-san’s specificity,” add Kebbel. “In each take, instead of listening to our words, he was actually watching our bodies. He was so specific about body placement and body isolation. Sometimes, his directions were for editing purposes, but at other times, they were supposed to provoke a different emotion out of me — to capture the terror I was experiencing as it came out of my eyes, my throat, my hands, even my very breath. I loved that, not to mention the fact that since Shimizu-san had the entire movie cut in his head, he didn’t he didn’t necessarily do a master and close-up for every scene. My favorite was a scene that he covered completely by shooting down a hallway into a mirror that reflected onto the room that I was in. That was fantastic.”
Production designer Saito notes a progression in the director’s style since they first started working together. “THE GRUDGE was a big American production and the first time Shimizu-san used sets to shoot a movie. Now he’s gotten used to the movie set concept, so he’s starting to think outside the box. He’s full of ideas now, a lot more than he used to be, because he’s much more confident as a director.” Screenwriter Susco has also noted the director’s creative growth. “Takashi has become a master at creating tension and scares. His original films were outstanding and he did a fantastic job with THE GRUDGE. On this film, he’s gotten even better at making audiences feel exactly what he wants them to feel, that deep, unsettling terror that lingers on even after the credits roll and the lights come up.”
The very structure of THE GRUDGE 2 reveals the director’s aesthetic progress. As actress Beals points out, “Evil knows no boundary. It can jump from story to story, just as this movie jumps from one set of characters to another. It makes you realize that no one is ever really safe, because evil is not a linear concept.”
“It makes me think of old Hitchcock movies,” adds Cousins, “in which you are more affected by the mood and what your imagination brings than by watching someone’s limbs get hacked off. The mood, the sense of horror, the sense of alienation — all those things lift this story to a higher plane and I hope the audience is literally gripping their knees.” Adds Kebbel: “This movie is about pure terror, about not being able to see what is coming next, about not being able to put a finger on what is going on or what is happening to you. It’s like you’re truly being haunted from the inside out. To me, just the thought of having no control over your body or what is happening to it is truly terrifying.”
Gellar says she’s convinced that Shimizu has topped himself on THE GRUDGE 2. “One thing I’m certain of is that Shimizu-san never fails to deliver. He has an innate sense of what scares you and the emotional reasons behind it. There is a lot more emotion in this film and it’s also about the unexpected and the shocking — something Shimizu-san is a master at.”
About The Cast
An experienced and talented actor from an early age, AMBER TAMBLYN (Aubrey Davis) brings dedication to her craft as shown by the multifaceted characters she has created. Her most recent film, STEPHANIE DALEY, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. Starring opposite Tilda Swinton, STEPHANIE DALEY is the story of a teenager (Tamblyn) charged with murdering her infant. With her endearing performance in last summer’s hit THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS, Tamblyn gained international recognition. She next stars in NORMAL ADOLESCENT BEHAVIOR, a darkly comic look at sexual politics among precocious and privileged teenagers, which began filming this past summer.
THE GRUDGE 2 is not her first horror film. Tamblyn also appeared in the smash hit THE RING directed by Gore Verbinski. Her character opens the film in a chilling sequence in which she is murdered by the ghost of an evil young girl.
Perhaps best known for two unforgettable seasons in JOAN OF ARCADIA, the highly lauded CBS family drama, Tamblyn earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the show was cited with an Outstanding Drama Series nomination in 2003. In addition, for the series’ first season, she garnered a Golden Globe nomination in 2003 for Best Dramatic Actress in a Drama Series and the show picked up the 2003 People’s Choice Award for Best New Series.
Tamblyn first gained popularity on the small screen with her portrayal of Emily Quartermaine on GENERAL HOSPITAL. What was originally scheduled as a few months’ work turned into a seven-year stint on the show as she won viewers’ hearts, the critics’ attention and two consecutive Hollywood Reporter Young Star Awards for Best Young Actress in a Daytime Series. In addition, Tamblyn starred in the premiere episode of UPN’s series THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Other television guest-starring roles included BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, BOSTON PUBLIC, CSI: MIAMI, and WITHOUT A TRACE. She also did a short series film for Showtime called TEN MINUTES OLDER: THE TRUMPET. Last fall, Simon & Schuster published her first book of poetry Free Stallion.
Tamblyn credits her father, veteran actor Russ Tamblyn, as the guiding light for her continuing success.
ARIELLE KEBBEL (Allison) landed her first role within three days of arriving in Los Angeles, a recurring part on the hit series GILMORE GIRLS. She hasn’t looked back since, landing parts in both feature films and popular television shows.
Her feature films include AQUAMARINE, AMERICAN PIE PRESENTS BAND CAMP, BE COOL, and SOUL PLANE. She recently starred in the hit comedy JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE. Upcoming films include the indies DAY DREAMER, OUTLAW TRAIL, and REEKER. Some of her television credits include a recurring role on GROUNDED FOR LIFE, as well as guest-starring roles on such popular shows as CSI, CSI: MIAMI, ENTOURANGE, LAW & ORDER, and JUDGING AMY. Born and raised in Florida, Kebbel’s first professional job was a role in a music video for the band Creed.
An accomplished actress, known for taking risks in a myriad of different roles, JENNIFER BEALS (Trish) currently stars in the successful series THE L WORD. Following a group of lesbian friends, it is the highest rated show ever to run on Showtime and will return for its fourth season in early 2007. Her hard work and dedication in the role of Bette Porter has garnered accolades, nominations and enormous appreciation from numerous groups, including the Power Up Award and the GLAAD Golden Gate Award.
One of Beals’ more recent films is RODGER DODGER, winner of the 2002 Best Feature Narrative at the Tribeca Film Festival and Best First Film for director Dylan Kidd at the Venice Film Festival. Her other notable appearances include THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY written and directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cummings, and costarring in A HOUSE DIVIDED opposite Amanda Dickson. For her performance in A HOUSE DIVIDED, Beals nabbed a Golden Satellite nomination as Best Actress in a movie/mini-series. In addition, Beals starred in TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS opposite Garry Marshall, Faye Dunaway, Brendan Fraser and Jon Tenney. She won the Golden Satellite Award as Outstanding Actress for the controversial role.
Her additional film credits include RUNAWAY JURY, CATCH THAT KID, LAST DAYS OF DISCO, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, FOUR ROOMS, MRS PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, and VAMPIRE’S KISS, to name a few. Beals also starred in Alexandre Rockwell’s IN THE SOUP, which won the 1992 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival, as well as Nanni Moretti’s CARO DIARIO, which won the Director’s Prize at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.
Originally from Chicago, Beals began her career after graduating from high school when she auditioned for FLASHDANCE. Landing the lead role, she went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination and win the NAACP Image Award as Best Actress for her performance. Beals then studied American Literature at Yale University, from which she graduated with honors before returning to her acting career.
Other honors for Beals are the Maverick Award from the San Jose Film Festival in 1999, and being named by People Magazine as one of the Fifty Most Beautiful People in 2004.
EDISON CHEN (Eason) is one of the most recognized faces in Asia. A Vancouver, Canada native, Edison’s first language is English, but his career has seen him rap, act and broadcast in such languages as Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese. He’s a star of film and television, a clothing designer, a streetwear pioneer, the owner of several stores and China’s biggest rap performer.
Already one of Hong Kong’s biggest actors, he’s made over two-dozen feature films since his debut in GEN Y COPS. Edison’s most famous role is currently being reprised by Leonardo DiCaprio in the Martin Scorsese remake of the 2002 international hit INFERNAL AFFAIRS with Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson co-starring. Chen cemented his role as a movie superstar this year by starring in the big-budget comic book adaptation INITIAL D.
Of late, he has also worked in Japanese films, appearing in the highly acclaimed Japanese language film UNDER THE SAME MOON. His television show, WHATEVER THINGS, is the top-performing MTV Asia show. Chen created and hosts the wildly popular English-language show, which is currently in its fourth season. WHATEVER THINGS follows Chen and his friends on their misadventures through Asia as they play practical jokes and spoofs on unsuspecting friends and passers-by.
In the music arena, Chen is credited with bringing hip hop to Asia. He has released three chart topping studio albums and continues to work in the studio with some of the most exciting producers in Asia and the world. He is currently working on his newest release, the follow-up to 2004’s “Hazy,” which features some of the biggest names in American hip hop. Chen is also in the early stages of crossing over in the U.S. (he is featured on both Kanye West’s and Lupe Fiasco’s newest mix-tapes).
Chen is also a fashion tastemaker with his high-end, hip-hop-inspired streetwear clothing line, Clot, and his store Juice, the biggest youth clothing store in Hong Kong. He is opening a second store in Shanghai in 2006. Chen has brought his aesthetic to Hong Kong and Asia in other ways as well. His face is on Pepsi cans in Asia (which he also redesigned) and on buses and billboards. Last June, Chen released his signature Nike shoe worldwide and it sold out within three hours. On the eve of its release, cities including New York, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo saw young fashionistas waiting overnight in line to be the first to purchase the shoe. Since then, he has released sold-out custom designs for Levis and Lacoste. Chen plans to open New York and Los Angeles Juice outlets in the near future.
SARAH ROEMER (Lacey) is a newcomer to feature films. She recently made the switch from modeling to acting in this year’s Sundance Film Festival favorite WRISTCUTTERS: A LOVE STORY. She currently is starring in D.J. Caruso’s DISTURBIA, due for release in 2007. Roemer also played small roles in Adam Rapp’s BLACKBIRD and Dionysius Zervos’ ROCK POINT.
Determined and accomplished are two words that best describe Golden Globe nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR (Karen Davis). Beginning her career as a child actress, Gellar has gone on to become a veteran of television, theater and the big screen. Following THE GRUDGE 2, she went into production on THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING, in which she plays a Manhattan book editor who finds her views on the game of love have changed after she attracts the attention of an influential older man. The film also stars Alec Baldwin and Maggie Grace.
Gellar was recently seen in THE RETURN, a story of a successful young businesswoman who starts having nightmares about a young woman who was murdered 25 years ago. Gellar also stars in the musical comedy SOUTHLAND TALES by director Richard Kelly. SOUTHLAND TALES is an ensemble piece set in Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as the city stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. The film also stars The Rock and Seann William Scott and premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Gellar recently filmed THE AIR I BREATHE, a drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. Gellar plays the role of Sorrow alongside castmates Kevin Bacon, Julie Delpy, Brendan Fraser, Andy Garcia, and Forest Whitaker. Gellar’s other film credits include THE GRUDGE, SCOOBY DOO, SCOOBY DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER, SCREAM 2, CRUEL INTENTIONS, and HARVARD MAN. Gellar is best known for her role as Buffy Summers in BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. She wrapped her seventh and final season of the critically-praised drama in May 2003.
Gellar’s career in the world of entertainment has spanned nearly 22 years. She won an Emmy in 1994 for her role on the ABC daytime drama ALL MY CHILDREN and completed classes at the High School for the Performing Arts in New York one year ahead of schedule. Gellar has also participated in much off-screen work as a volunteer for many charitable organizations. She is an advocate for breast cancer awareness and participated in the “Tied to the Cause” campaign benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 2003. She was also an honoree at this year’s Young Survivors Coalition.She has donated her time and talent to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and spent time in the Dominican Republic working as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. She helped those affected by the recent California fires by visiting shelters and handing out clothingand supplies to families who had lost everything. Additionally, she has been involved with Project Angel Food, the Starbright Foundation, Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles Free Clinic.
About The Filmmakers
TAKASHI SHIMIZU (Director), a native of Gunma, Japan, began his film career serving as an apprentice in the props department on Kohei Oguri’s film, NEMURU OTOKO, in 1995. While freelancing as an assistant director on dozens of television dramas and straight-to-video titles, he enrolled at the Tokyo Film Seminar (now the Film School of Tokyo). Following the completion of a short film project for the school in 1998, he was spotted by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (CURE) and screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi (RING), and on their recommendation was hired to write and direct the short horror teleplays KATASUMI (IN A CORNER) and 4444444444. The collaboration resulted in Shimizu working again with Takahashi as supervisor and with producer Taka Ichise (producer of RING) when he directed the feature-length video versions of JU-ON and JU-ON 2 shortly thereafter.
In 2001, after directing two TV documentaries on psychic phenomena under the supervision of Norio Tsuruta, Shimizu made his theatrical film debut with TOMIE: REBIRTH. When he directed the theatrical versions of JU-ON (2002) and JU-ON 2 (2003), the films achieved massive box office success in Japan and other Asian countries, establishing Shimizu as a pioneer of the new Japanese horror movement. It also brought Shimizu to the attention of producer Sam Raimi, who asked him to recreate his film in English. When Shimizu’s English-language version, retitled THE GRUDGE, opened in the United States in October 2004, the film stayed at the top of the box office for two weeks, earning over $188 million worldwide. It was the first time a Japanese director’s work had crossed the $100 million box office gross in the United States.
In his spare time, during his work on THE GRUDGE in 2004, Shimizu directed MAREBITO in Japan. This extremely low-budget film won the grand prize (Golden Raven Award) at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film, which marked the first award for Shimizu.
Also in 2004, Shimizu’s first TV series, KAIKI DAIKAZOKU, gave him an opportunity to move outside his traditional horror genre and demonstrated his well-known statement: “There is only a fine line between horror and comedy.” Collaborating with other Japanese directors of his generation who understood his unique taste for this project, Shimizu prepared a draft of characters and settings. He served as general supervisor for the series and wrote and directed a few principal episodes. This “horror comedy” series, retitled THE GREAT HORROR FAMILY in English, is scheduled to be released in the United States this year.
His latest work RINNE (Reincarnation) was released in Japan in January 2006. THE GRUDGE 2 marks the sixth time, including the originals, that Shimizu has directed his story of the revenge-seeking ghosts.
STEPHEN SUSCO (Screenwriter) was born and raised in Pennsylvania and began writing fiction at the age of 11, winning several awards even before he had graduated from high school, including an Honorable Mention in Issac Asimov’s Science Fiction Competition. While at the University of Notre Dame, he performed in more than 25 plays and 30 student films. He also directed several theatrical productions, including David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” and José Triana’s “Night of the Assassins.” Susco ventured into film when he wrote his first two screenplays, adaptations of Stephen King’s novel Rage and Robert McCammon’s Blue World. He subsequently wrote, directed and produced his first film, a 12-minute 16mm short that won a student award in the 1993 College Film and Television Awards, held by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Regional Winner in the Drama category).
With three Bachelors degrees (philosophy, film & television and computer applications), Susco moved to Los Angeles and three weeks later attended his first film class at the University of Southern California. In the fall of 1996, Susco produced a student film, MR OCTOBER, which premiered at the Film Fest New Haven competition. The film won an award from the Academy of Film Arts and Sciences and has been shown in a number of other domestic and international film festivals. While still in film school, Susco earned his first professional screenwriting credits. He cowrote BONE IN THE THROAT (an adaptation of the first novel by acclaimed chef Anthony Bourdain) and GHOSTING. Upon graduating with his MFA from USC in May 1998, Susco cowrote DUMBSTRUCK for director Mike Nichols and actor John Leguizamo, and LIFE DURING WARTIME for producer Gale Anne Hurd and director Philip Noyce.
In addition to writing the English-language screenplays of THE GRUDGE and THE GRUDGE 2, Susco wrote and is producing ZERO DARK THIRTY for Dark Lot Entertainment. He also recently sold SANCTUARY, a screenplay based on the book Bad Men by John Connolly. His script for RED, based on the novel by Jack Ketchum, is in pre-production with director Lucky McKee. Susco is currently writing CRAWLSPACE based on the novel by Herbert Lieberman.
SAM RAIMI (Producer), with his longtime producing partner Rob Tapert, returned to his horror roots in 2002, forming Ghost House Pictures. Ghost House is dedicated to the financing, development and distribution of high-concept genre films. Their initial productions were the hit films THE GRUDGE and BOOGEYMAN. Their upcoming film slate includes David Slade’s 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and the Pang brothers’ THE MESSENGERS.
Raimi is currently directing the next installment in the continuing adventures of one of the world’s most popular comic book superheroes in SPIDER-MAN 3 after directing the first two blockbuster adventures SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN 2. To date, SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN 2 have grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide.
Raimi previously directed the supernatural thriller THE GIFT starring Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear and Giovanni Ribisi. Raimi also directed the acclaimed suspense thriller A SIMPLE PLAN, which starred Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda, and earned Thornton an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Known for his imaginative filmmaking style, richly drawn characters and offbeat humor, Raimi wrote and directed the cult classic THE EVIL DEAD, which became an immediate favorite when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and spawned the equally impressive THE EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN. Raimi then proved his mastery of the fantasy thriller genre, writing and directing DARKMAN starring Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand, which he followed up with ARMY OF DARKNESS, a comic sword-and-sorcery fantasy starring Bruce Campbell. Raimi also served as executive producer for John Woo’s HARD TARGET, and cowrote (with Joel and Ethan Coen) THE HUDSUCKER PROXY starring Tim Robbins, Paul Newman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Raimi also directed the western THE QUICK AND THE DEAD starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe and Gene Hackman and the baseball homage FOR LOVE OF THE GAME starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston. Raimi’s extensive television work includes the hit syndicated series XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS, which he executive-produced with Tapert. The highly successful series starring Lucy Lawless ran for six seasons. Raimi and Tapert also executive-produced the enormously popular HERCULES: LEGENDARY JOURNEYS and served as executive producer for the CBS series AMERICAN GOTHIC.
Raimi’s interest in filmmaking began as a youngster in Michigan, where he directed his own Super-8 films. Later, he left Michigan State University to form Renaissance Pictures with Tapert and longtime friend and actor Bruce Campbell.
ROB TAPERT (Producer) executive-produced the groundbreaking syndicated series XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and HERCULES: LEGENDARY JOURNEYS with his longtime friend and partner Sam Raimi. He also directed episodes of both hit shows that were produced under the team’s Renaissance Pictures banner for Studios USA Domestic Television. Famous for their imaginative style, the team has earned widespread critical praise for the spectacular action, strong dramatic stories, cutting-edge special effects and tongue-in-cheek humor featured in their productions.
Tapert has worked with Raimi since they met at Michigan State University, where they formed the Society for Creative Filmmaking. After producing the hit horror cult film THE EVIL DEAD, he collaborated with Raimi on THE EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN, DARKMAN and ARMY OF DARKNESS. Tapert went on to become an executive producer of the action features HARD TARGET and TIMECOP starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, and two direct-to-video “Darkman” sequels. He was also an executive producer of Sam Raimi’s high-action theatrical film THE QUICK AND THE DEAD starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman, as well as THE GIFT, the two-hour series pilot of Fox’s M.A.N.T.I.S., the CBS series AMERICAN GOTHIC, the ABC series SPY GAME, the two-hour tele-film YOUNG HERCULES and the Fox Kids Network series HERCULES.
THE GRUDGE 2 marks the fifth film for their joint venture, Ghost House Pictures, a genre label they formed, which is dedicated to producing commercial feature films with horror, sci-fi and fantasy themes. Their first productions were the successful BOOGEYMAN and THE GRUDGE. They currently have the Pang brothers’ THE MESSENGERS and Sebastian Guttierez’s RISE starring Lucy Liu in post-production.
TAKA ICHISE (Producer) is known for bringing the internationally acclaimed horror films RING, the original Japanese version of DARK WATER, the JU-ON movies and the English-language remake of THE GRUDGE to the screen, and has been instrumental in establishing the recent worldwide Japanese horror film craze. Nicknamed the ‘Horror King’ in Asia, Ichise has produced 50 films.
This successful producer first found recognition producing TO SLEEP SO AS TO DREAM, a Japanese fantasy thriller that was highly acclaimed at several international film festivals and went on to win accolades at both the New York and Venice Film Festivals. In 1987, Ichise produced TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS, a sci-fi film that earned high marks both at the Japanese box-office and in video sales. The feature was subsequently made into an animated video series, DOOMED MEGALOPOLIS, that became a cult hit in its international release. A joint venture between Japan and Hong Kong followed — the sci-fi film THE PEACOCK KING that again scored big at the Japanese box-office and in video sales.
In 1992, Ichise established his Los Angeles-based OZLA Pictures, Inc., an independent production company. He has since produced eight films under the banner including, AMERICAN YAKUZA starring Viggo Mortensen, which became a huge video success in the UK and Australia, the action thriller NO WAY BACK starring Russell Crowe, and Christophe Gans’ action thriller CRYING FREEMAN starring Mark Dacascos, which climbed to number one at the box office in both France and South Korea.
In 1997, when Ichise produced the acclaimed RING, directed by horror master Hideo Nakata, the film became one of the biggest Japanese domestic box office hits of all time, also establishing a new record for Japanese films in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other territories. RING won Best Film and Best Visual Effects at the film festival in Sitges in 1999, as well as several other international film festivals. Its sequel, RING 2, also directed by Nakata, doubled the box-office take of Ichise’s previous effort and became a crowd pleaser at festivals globally.
His English-language remake, THE RING, was directed by Gore Verbinski and starred Naomi Watts. The movie grossed $129 million in the U.S. after debuting at number one at the box office during its first week of release in 2002. The sequel THE RING 2 had original RING director Hideo Nakata at the helm with Naomi Watts returning as the star. When released in 2005, the film once again took first place at the U.S. box office.
Producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert joined forces with Ichise to produce the English language remake of his successful JU-ON movies. They wanted the original director, Takashi Shimizu, one of Ichise’s protégés, to helm THE GRUDGE starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. The movie went on to be number one at the U.S. box office, earning over $188 million worldwide.
In addition, Ichise’s multi-award-winning Japanese horror film HONOGURAI MIZU NO SOKO KARA was remade as an English-language film entitled DARK WATER. The film was directed by Walter Salles and starred Jennifer Connelly.
As a unique global filmmaker, Ichise continues to surprise international audiences with fresh, intriguing and well-crafted films in English and Japanese. He is currently working on YOMI for Mandate/Ghost House, THE ENTITY, a remake of a Thai film SHUTTER, a remake of the 1982 cult hit CREEPSHOW and two of his J-Horror projects INFECTION and PREMONITION. Another of Ichise’s J-Horror films, RETRIBUTION (Japanese title: SAKEBI) directed by Kiyoko Kurosawa, was presented out-of-competition at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.
JOE DRAKE (Executive Producer) is owner and president of Mandate Pictures, an independent company dedicated to the self-financing, development and production of filmed entertainment. Drake has been the driving force since launching the company (previously Senator International) in 2005, which aims to deliver broad-appeal films to studios and major independents worldwide. In the company’s recent years, Drake greenlighted STRANGER THAN FICTION, Zach Helm’s directorial debut MR MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman, as well as Danny Leiner’s outrageous comedy HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE.
Drake also launched Hollywood’s preeminent horror label Ghost House Pictures with partners Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, which produced the box office hits THE GRUDGE and BOOGEYMAN. Drake also served as executive producer on Catherine Hardwicke’s LORDS OF DOGTOWN and Josh Stern’s NEVERWAS.
Formerly president of Lionsgate International, Drake established the division as a premier supplier of theatrical feature films to the independent world. He oversaw worldwide sales and distribution of Lionsgate’s international programming and championed such projects as Nicolas Cage’s SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, the highly controversial AMERICAN PSYCHO and the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee AMORES PERROS. Before joining Lionsgate, Drake served as senior vice president of international theatrical at Rysher Entertainment and also held positions at Moviestore Entertainment.
NATHAN KAHANE (Executive Producer) is the creative partner who is responsible for the established relationships with high-level talent for Mandate Pictures and oversees the development and production of the company’s growing feature slate. He also oversees the daily creative operations of Ghost House Pictures, Mandate’s joint venture with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
While at Mandate, Kahane has produced or overseen the productions of TRAPPED, HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE, and the $188 million box office worldwide hit THE GRUDGE. Currently, he is overseeing Zach Helm’s MR MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM with Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman, Sebastian Gutierrez’s RISE starring Lucy Liu and Michael Chiklis and THE MESSENGERS directed by Danny & Oxide Pang, among others.
Kahane started his career at ICM in their agent-training program after graduating from the Hass School of Business at The University of California, Berkeley. Following that, he worked for four-and-a-half years as the Canton Company’s Executive Vice President of Motion Pictures.
ROY LEE (Executive Producer) received a Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a law degree from The American University. He moved from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood. His first job was with the production company, Alphaville, where he worked on films such as THE MUMMY, THE JACKAL, and MICHAEL. THE RING was his first production as an independent producer. He has subsequently set up more than 20 projects at various studios, including remakes of such foreign titles as OLD BOY, CHAOS, THE ENTITY, and ADDICTED. As a result, Lee has developed a reputation as someone who can identify foreign films with English-language remake potential. In addition to developing original ideas and scripts, he has successfully imported films from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and other countries to be remade in the United States.
As an independent producer, he formed Vertigo Entertainment with his partner Doug Davison in 2001 (based at Universal). In addition to THE GRUDGE 2, Lee recently produced THE LAKE HOUSE directed by Alejandro Agresti and starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and is in post-production on THE DEPARTED directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as THE VISITING directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
DOUG DAVISON (Executive Producer) began his career in the film business in New York City working as a reader for New Line Cinema and as an on-set production assistant on numerous films including DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE. Davison soon moved to Los Angeles where he worked at the William Morris Agency. When he switched companies to work for Mad Chance, Davison rose to become President of Production and co-produced DEATH TO SMOOCHY written by Adam Resnick, directed by Danny DeVito and starring Robin Williams and Edward Norton. While at Mad Chance, Davison also developed such projects as SPACE COWBOYS, CATS AND DOGS, and CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND.
As an independent producer, he formed Vertigo Entertainment with his partner Roy Lee in 2001 (based at Universal). In addition to THE GRUDGE 2, Davison recently produced THE LAKE HOUSE directed by Alejandro Agresti and starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock and is in post-production on THE DEPARTED directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as THE VISITING directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
Davison grew up in Washington, D.C. and received his Bachelor’s degree in English and art history from Hamilton College.
KATSUMI YANAGIJIMA (Director of Photography) has twice won the award for Best Cinematography from the Japanese Academy — for GO in 2001 and for THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI in 2003. Written and directed by respected Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kitano, THE BLIND SWORDSMAN: ZATOICHI was also honored at the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals, winning the audience award at both festivals.
A long-time collaborator with Kitano, Yanagijima also filmed his notable Yakuza films such as BROTHER and DOLLS and BATTLE ROYALE, among others. THE GRUDGE 2 marks the first time that Yanagijima has worked with director Takashi Shimizu. Yanagijima learned his craft while working as an assistant at Mifune Productions, the company owned by the famous Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune. He has gone on to film over 25 Japanese feature films.
IWAO SAITO (Production Designer) reunites with director Takashi Shimizu and producer Taka Ichise for this second movie. In addition to recreating the burned-out house seen at the end of the first English-language version of the JU-ON movies, Saito has designed many new sets that explain the origin of this supernatural curse that now lives outside of the house.
Other noteworthy credits for the talented production designer are RING 2, MR BASEBALL, PRIVATE LESSONS, RASEN and Hideo Nakata’s LAST SCENE. He also designed sets for Shimizu’s RINNE (REINCARNATION).
JEFF BETANCOURT (Editor) graduated from USC’s School of Cinema-Television in 1996. Upon graduating, he began his career editing STAR MAPS for director Miguel Arteta and producer Matthew Greenfield. STAR MAPS began a string of successful independent films, including BILLY’S HOLLYWOOD SCREEN KISS, CHUCK & BUCK and THE GOOD GIRL.
Betancourt also edited GET OVER IT, the cult-classic HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE and the critically acclaimed THE UNITED STATES OF LELAND. He went on to cut the highly successful thrillers THE GRUDGE, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and WHEN A STRANGER CALLS.
CHRISTOPHER YOUNG (Music) has evolved into one of the most skilled of a new generation of film composers who are able to move effortlessly between hardcore melodrama and off-the-wall satire and comedy. He combines the orchestral craftsmanship of the great film composers of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s with an edgy sensibility as well as a keen and sharply tuned intelligence. His music can enhance dramas with subtlety and simplicity, propel suspense and action films with powerfully thrusting rhythms and electrifying textures, and provide comedies and unusual subject matter with hip, cutting-edge musical commentary.
He achieved early recognition in 1987 with his bone-chilling score to the Clive Barker horror tale HELLRAISER and in 1988 added two more thundering horror scores to his resume: HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II and THE FLY II. Young’s distinctive and imaginative approaches to several unique projects have made him a highly sought-after commodity on films with unusual subject matter. He wrote an ingenious score incorporating breathing effects for the offbeat film THE VAGRANT in 1992.
His score to the moody serial killer film JENNIFER EIGHT added immeasurably to the film’s unnerving atmosphere, while his darkly dramatic score to the Christian Slater/Kevin Bacon prison drama MURDER IN THE FIRST distinguished it from several competing courtroom thrillers.
In 1995, his music elevated a trio of thrillers: the sci-fi horror film SPECIES received an unnerving score in the manner of Saint-Saëns. The cyber-reality adventure VIRTUOSITY was energized by a supercharged action score and the Sigourney Weaver/Holly Hunter serial killer film COPYCAT received a brilliantly-nuanced score that burrowed deeply into the psychologies of both Weaver’s and Hunter’s characters. He tuned in perfectly to the offbeat sensibility of the Bill Murray comedy THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE and provided an appropriate urban blues groove to the John Dahl gambling melodrama ROUNDERS. His other works include the scores for HEAD ABOVE WATER, Jon Amiel’s ENTRAPMENT, THE BIG KAHUNA starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito, Norman Jewison’s HURRICANE starring Denzel Washington, THE WONDER BOYS starring Michael Douglas, Sam Raimi’s THE GIFT, as well as the scores to such hits as RUNAWAY JURY, THE CORE and AN UNFINISHED LIFE.
Young’s most recent film credits include SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN 2, THE GRUDGE, BEAUTY SHOP and THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. His upcoming films include LUCKY YOU, THE MESSENGERS, Mark Steven Johnson’s GHOST RIDER starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes and Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN 3.
HAJIME MATSUMOTO (Visual Effects Supervisor) joins Takashi Shimizu for a fifth time on THE GRUDGE 2. The two first paired on JU-ON and continued their collaboration on THE GRUDGE, JU-ON 2 and RINNE (REINCARNATION).
With many Japanese horror films to his credit, the talented Matsumoto was honored for his work on RING with the Best Visual Effects Award at the Catalonian Film Festival in Sitges, Spain. His next feature, the Japanese movie GOD’S LEFT HAND, THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND, was released in late 2006.