Saturday, October 6, 2012

41. The Grudge (2004)

Title:        The Grudge
Year:        2004
Genre:      Supernatural Thriller

Type:        A-Movie
Run Time: 92

Director: Takashi Shimizu 

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From filmmaker Sam Raimi (Spider-Man(r), Army of Darkness) and acclaimed Japanese director Takashi Shimizu comes a terrifying tale of horror in the tradition of The Ring and 28 Days Later

Sarah Michelle Gellar (TV's Buffy The Vampire Slayer) stars as an American nurse who has come to work in Tokyo. Following a series of horrifying and mysterious deaths, she encounters the vengeful supernatural spirit that possesses its victims, claims their souls, then passes its curse to another person in a spreading chain of horror. Now, she must find a way to break this supernatural spell or become the next victim of an ancient evil that never dies, but forever lives to kill.

Detailed Synopsis
Personal Thoughts

The Grudge (directed by Takashi Shimizu, and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a 2004 American remake of the Japanese horror film Ju-on: The Grudge, which was also directed by Takashi Shimizu.

As the first film in The Grudge series, it has spawned two sequels: The Grudge 2 (which was released on October 13, 2006), and The Grudge 3 (which was released on May 12, 2009), as well as a new film which will soon go into production as a planned reboot of the series. - Wikipedia

The Grudge is a supernatural thriller that features the "scary ghost lady with long dark hair" antagonist, commonly found in Asian horror films. Similar to Ringu (Sadako) and The Ring (Samara), The film centers around the spirit and ghost of a girl (Kayako), seeking revenge for her untimely and brutal murder. Although there are glaring similarities between The Grudge and The Ring, I didn't end up enjoying The Grudge nearly as much as I enjoyed The Ring.

The Plot: An American student working with a Japanese health center in Tokyo uncovers an horrific curse that claims the lives of all who enter the house that was once the scene of a brutal and vicious murder.

"When someone dies in the grips of a powerful rage...
A curse is born.
The cruse gathers in that place of death.
Those who encounter it will be consumed by its fury"

I don't really consider myself much of a "Grudge" fan. And though it has certain characteristics and elements that make it similar to The Ring, it's definitely not The Ring, or at least in wasn't to me. It actually took me a while to get to the point where I could even say I liked The Grudge at all, and I'm not saying it's any worse then some of the other films I've recommended. It just wasn't my cup of tea, for some apparent reason.

Well the other day, I decided to give it another chance. Between trying to read along and keep up with the parts that weren't in English, and trying not to become confused by the films Quentin Tarantino style, flashback format, I ended up having to rewind it several times, to make sure I knew exact what was going on.

With that said, I did enjoy The Grudge this time around, more so then I did the last time I saw it, which was a few years ago. 

Is The Grudge Scary?

To me, less is sometimes better. The Grudge ended up showing the ghosts (Kayako and Toshio) more than I would have liked, which in my opinion, made it lose some of its scariness. But don't get me wrong, it definitely has its share of dark and frightening moments, that may be hard to watch, if these types of movies typically get to you. That God forsaking, eerie sound Kayako makes, is enough to scare the socks off of most people, myself included.

In closing: The Grudge is a decent little horror movie ... dark, eerie, creepy and suspenseful. It may not be one of my all-time favorites, but it's definitely worth watching if you're into supernatural horror films. If you like ghost movies, haunted houses and things popping out at you, then give it a watch, but just don't do so expecting a masterpiece.

What I liked:

- Some of the acting
- Kayako
- Some of the similarities to The Ring
- The famous Kayako stair scene

What I didn't like:

- I had to read subtitles because some of the movie wasn't in English
- Some of the story is told through flashbacks which can be a bit confusing at times
- In my opinion, it wasn't necessary to show the ghost as much as they chose to do so
- At times, too much CGI was used on Kayako
My Ratings

How good was it:             

How scary was it:        

How much did I enjoy it:

The Grudge Extras:

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