The Grudge 2
(D: Takashi Shimizu, 95 min) Dark Water and The Ring Two underperformed at the box office. But this sequel to 2004's monster hit should squeeze a bit more blood - and millions of dollars - out of the trend of U.S. remakes of Japan horrors. Sarah Michelle Gellar returns as the sole survivor -- at least for the opening sequences -- of a haunted house. Joan Of Arcadia's Amber Tamblyn plays her sister, who tries to figure out what's going on. Will she go into the house? Will there be a Grudge 3? What, are you stupid?
Director Takashi Shimizu , who helmed the originals and the remake, returns.
(D: John Bonito, 93 min)
Now that Vin Diesel's abandoned his lucrative franchises, we're left with WWE types to fill the action hero shoes left empty by Stallone and Schwarzenegger. First came the Rock. Now there's John Cena , who resembles Matt Damon on steroids. Here, he plays an Iraq veteran who outmuscles a group of mobsters after his wife gets kidnapped at a gas station.
Expect lots of explosions and good numbers in the Red States. Both open Friday (October 13). Screened after press time - see review of The Grudge 2 on October 13 and The Marine on October 16 at www.nowtoronto.com/film.