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The GrudgeThe Grudge

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Yuya Ozeki, Takako Fuji, Jason Behr, and Bill Pullman
Directed by: Sam Raimi

 




Bluntly speaking? The Grudge is horrific. It lures you with its uber-creepy trailer and perhaps a knowledge of Takashi Shimizu's hit Ju-on (its Japanese legacy) into thinking its gonna make you scream - yeah, scream with laughter. Granted some of the evil entity effects are pretty unnerving - but a few good hair-raising ghosts within a convoluted story does not a good film make.

Story goes...A happy couple are spending a year abroad in Japan. Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a home health care professional. When a coworker doesn't show up she is asked to watch a catatonic woman on the outskirts of town.

Almost immediately Karen gets an uneasy feeling from in the woman's abode, and rightfully so. The entities that dwell within this house have a hair-across-their-asses. They hold a grudge...apparently... against anyone one that dares to intrude their dwelling - and they are traveling demons. They'll follow you to the ends of the world to destroy you. They can shape-shift, use public transportation and are rather good mimics. Their excuse for all their ill-placed revenge on the innocents? It's the old proverb, "When one dies in a state of extreme rage they stay to unleash a fury to the living," or something.

It's a pretty cool premise awash in a pretty bad film.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, as Karen, gives good enough shocked-face oh-deary-me reactions. But after about an hour of her shenanigans you're begging the entity to just be done with her already.

The piece starts off great - what with levitating spirits and a ghastly child creeping up the frames. But it's too heavy on these confusing edits, mixed in with fragmented information so it soon becomes just stupid. You get an uneasy feeling the cast - perhaps - decided to be involved in the project for the free trip to Japan.

See the original version Ju-on and you may get a fright - this is B movie without the fun campy aspect (it takes itself way too seriously for that). The score by Christopher Young is probably the reason any of the film is truly scary. Without his psyche altering dadadaum musical crescendos you've just got chalked up actors going boo.

Snack recommendation: Dinner in a Little Toyko and see the original version Ju-on now available in the foreign rental section...


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