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The Grudge Reviews

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Edward B

Super Reviewer

May 15, 2007
A haunted house exists. You go in it, you die. That's the premise of The Grudge. Now watch all the characters who went inside get killed in between long passages of pointless dialogue and nothing happening. If the image of a long haired girl in a nightgown creeps you out, this may work on you. I was just bored.
The Gandiman
The Gandiman

Super Reviewer

December 29, 2012
"The Grudge" is a creep-fest that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's not that the movie is complex, the opposite is true. It just takes a pedestrian ghost story involving vengeance and anger and surrounds it with jolts and more jolts.

Takashi Shimizu doesn't seem concerned with originality or substance as long as he can make creepy ghosts jarringly jump out at characters. While this is scary at times after a while you just stop caring.

Sarah Michelle Gellar does the best she can with a thin role that requires her to just skulk around, look scared and ask questions. And when the answers come they prove to be unsurprisingly and unoriginal.

"The Grudge" is forgettable and mindless.
Market Man
Market Man

Super Reviewer

August 18, 2012
A terrifying concept executed poorly. Only brings a few scares, but due to the lack of story nothing leaves a lasting impact. The flashbacks are annoying as fuck. It's a tough film to get involved with and the ending blows.
Mark B

Super Reviewer

May 5, 2012
The rule of thumb for watching any Japanese horror film that is remade in Hollywood is to go for the original, subtitles be damned. The one exception is The Ring.

The Grudge remake, made by the exact same director of the original, is a series of confusing, disconnected creepy scenes until the end where you kinda-sorta get an explanation. No plot. Just typical stupid horror movie characters doing stupid things. "Oh, let's go check out that really creepy sound all by myself after I found my wife/mother/girlfriend/pet dead/catatonic/."

Having seen nearly all the Japanese horror flicks, there is a clear culture of fear of long black hair, water and eyeballs or mouths that are stretched/blacked out via photoshop/CGI. When you experience it for the first time, it's scary. The second time, it's interesting. For the third, fourth, ...., it's yaaawwwwwnnnn.
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2011
If you want to see an American horror remake that actually is scary, watch Gore Verbinski's The Ring. A horror film should not be boring. It's not often I find myself watching a horror film and not getting any thrills or scares out of it. The Grudge is a big example of one of the times when this does happen. I lost my patience with it due to the lack of real scares despite its intiguing premise and interesting demonic imagery.
Eric A

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2011
Okay, but it bites alot off of The Ring.

Super Reviewer

August 18, 2011
If a bag of garbage was a film, then The Grudge remake would be it. What this remake is a pure crap fest from beginning to end, a film that relies on cheap scares to create its tension, and signs of old school atmosphere you'd expect from a good horror film are gone. American remakes tend to strip away the effective scares that have made the original films so good. This is the case with The Grudge. Everything about the film is so poorly constructed that it be seen as a documentary on how NOT to make a horror film. The acting in this film is terrible and the story is poorly developed and has nothing really going on. This remake is plainly a horrible mess of a film. I hated this film because it lacked anything that makes a horror film memorable. There are some good remakes in the horror genre, but The Grudge is one of many bad films that have been remade to cash in on the original. Everything about this film is terrible, acting, story and above all, scares. A good horror film has atmosphere to develop its horror, and the classics relied on that. But with these remakes of Japanese films, filmmakers rely on special effects to create tension, and I feel as a horror fan, it cheapens the look of the picture. Sure the film looks good, but it's still cheap compared to the horror classics. That proves that no amount of special effects can make an effective horror film. The Grudge is a poorly made film with bad acting and crap scares.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2011
I expected a fair amount of this movie, since we all know from experience that the movies with the bad reviews are usually that the ones which we find to our likings. When I actually saw this one (which I more specifically expected to be like THE RING or DARK WATER, given the fact that it is a horror remake, too), I was utterly disappointed. What was supposed to be "scary" or "disturbing" was actually what I found to be dumb and unintentionally funny. Very few parts did I actually like.

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
Creepy and had me on the edge of my seat. A really great horror!
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

July 29, 2010
Maybe I'm just a scaredy cat, but this adaptation from a Japanese horror film scared the bejesus outta me. Invisible ghosts that can hide in th shadows, a boy who meows, bathtubs unsafe for occupation. I spent a large amount of my high school years with the lights on thank you very much.
Lewis C

Super Reviewer

June 10, 2007
"Once you have become a part of will never let you go. I'm sorry."

I remember thinking that The Grudge was a pretty good horror flick when I was a teenager. Scary, as well. Boy, I must have been easily entertained back then.

I suppose it would be pretty frightening if an evil spirit attached itself to you in real life, and there was no way to break the curse. But seeing it happen as The Grudge portrays it is pretty meh. This movie simply isn't scary. It relies on the simplest of jump scares, and it's only very often that they actually startle you.

Scenes suddenly end and move on to the next, without ever explaining what happened to the characters in the missing time. People see things that would have any normal human being freaking out, and then carry on with whatever they were doing, as if nothing untoward happened. I haven't visited Japan, but I'm pretty sure that seeing vanishing, drowned ghost boys is so common there, that it doesn't cause much comment.

Sarah Michelle Gellar plays a role that is so bland, that it hardly counts as a character. And she's the most fleshed-out of the entire bunch. Even the short runtime seems too long for what actually happens. The Grudge may have been passable back in 2004, but no longer. See Ju-on, instead. Or any of the other superior horror movies that have been released since then.

Super Reviewer

May 22, 2010
This was so freaking scary. I couldn't sleep at night for a month! Not watching this again.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

June 11, 2009
a kid in this movie is like a cat or something cause he keeps meowing and thats scary i guess. and so are peole whose mouths stretch open really wide when they scream, just so ill know they're evil.

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2006
This is more scarier than US's horror remake The Ring.
Horror remake of Japanese's 2002 Ju-on.

Super Reviewer

December 1, 2009
Honestly was the Remake the Grudge nor the Original great.
Conner R

Super Reviewer

December 7, 2009
A complete mess and terribly translated remake. It takes an interesting concept and makes it a drawn out piece of trash. The acting is remarkably bad, especially with the cast it had. The plot was just corny and nowhere suspenseful or scary. It attempts to get the same look as the Ring, but it comes nowhere near its brilliance or sophistication.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2009
For a remake it was not bad. At least they got the original director in! Sarah Michelle Gellar was miscast though!
Lady D

Super Reviewer

August 2, 2006
Better than I was expecting, there were a few parts that made me jump, which doesn't happen to often, although it did feature the most annoying noise in the world.

VERDICT: One to watch if you're working your way through the horrors
familiar s

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2009
I fail to understand why people feel it "very scary".

Super Reviewer

July 2, 2007
Ghosts stories are always creepy when it is in a decrepit old mansion at the far reaches of a small town. A ghost story that takes place in a modern Japanese bungalow in a residential district of one of the most densely populated cities in the world is creepier by putting the eerily aggravated poltergeists right next to everyday life. The frights come regularly and logically adhere to what little story there is. As a cinematic haunted hayride, this Americanized version of "The Grudge" succeeds with intelligence and reserve. It doesn't have anything to say, it just works like hell ? and succeeds - in making you feel terrified.

The prologue is a gruesomely realistic death that does not hint at the supernatural, but the story is told out of sequence. The reasons behind everything become clear with time. It is a device that that keeps you very naturally involved through curiosity. We are introduced to the house in question. The living people are a transplanted American couple with a catatonic mother-in-law and a local visiting nurse (Yoko, played by Yoko Maki). Yoko comes to visit the mother-in-law and they are the only ones home when noises come from upstairs. Naturally, Yoko goes upstairs to check in the midst of checking an answering machine message; only to disappear with an astonished scream after meeting the first ghost, Kayako (Takako Fuji). The care center sends a replacement when Yoko fails to report the next day. Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) follows in Yoko's footsteps through the messy house to the immobile patient and falls into a shocked state after a glancing introduction to the horrors. Fortunately, her supervisor (Ted Raimi) has become suspicious of the absences and comes looking for her and gets the police involved. The terror comes frequently and unrelentingly after this encounter. It expands to consume the family, the investigating police officers and everyone Karen cares for in Tokyo. The bounds of this ghostly rage are not simply to be escaped by leaving the property, staying awake or lasting until sunrise.

Director Takashi Shimizu keeps everyone reined in with the emphasis on minimalism in both production and acting in this Americanized follow-up to his original "Ju-On". There are special effects to enhance the supernatural, but the horror is done largely with the physical: lights turn off without explanation, a knock at the door comes impossibly fast after the person at the far end ends a phone call. This control urges the audience to anticipate and this ratchets up the tension. Bill Pullman has proved in various roles that he is adept at bringing quiet intensity to roles and he does here. Every character is given equal respect and screen time. Although this is an ensemble cast, the headlining star on the poster is Sarah Michelle Gellar. Clearly she and her agent are trying to edge her away from the threat of the "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" role becoming a career buster. There are no sassy one-liners for her to fling at the monsters here. She is understated and finds a polite and frightened but upstanding demeanor to make Karen work. There is no melodramatic plot contrivance between events. People are drawn in by fear and curiosity. There are no ghost hunters, exorcists or supernatural experts of any kind here. The reasons for the ghosts' rage are hinted at through the characters' speculation and memories. Although I understand the original film is used as the back story.

"The Grudge" might not break new ground in creating a haunted house story, but it brings real terror, The camera isn't there to dazzle you, but rather to show you exactly what Shimizu wants you to see. You can't help but hold your breath for the next scare that comes forward to consume both characters and audience trapped like deer in headlights.
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