Sunday, October 11, 2015

31 Days of Horror- Day 11: The Grudge (2004)

(dir. Takashi Shimizu)

Columbia Pictures
*First time viewing

A spirit entity goes from victim to victim in a series of interconnecting plots.

I missed The Grudge when it first came out, but I remember people telling me how freaky it was. To those same people I now ask: have you watched it recently? The Grudge is a bad horror movie. It’s a victim of bland filmmaking, lackluster acting, and scares that are more comical than anything (I literally laughed out loud during the scene where Kayako emerges from the sheets). The concept itself is interesting, if a little convoluted, which is par for the course for J-Horror and their American remakes. But The Grudge is devoid of suspense and Sarah Michelle Gellar seems more than a little lost during the entire proceeding which drains any of the power the narrative could have possibly achieved. It’s strange that Shimizu, who directed the original and genuinely frightening Ju-On: The Grudge, is unable to replicate the same clever tension achieved by the imagery, and non-linear storytelling. Other than a particularly great moment involving a missing jaw-bone, The Grudge is a waste of time and a reminder of a terrible time in mainstream American horror where everything was a sub-par Asian remake.

Scare Factor: 0.5/5 Half a mark for half a jaw. If you want to watch a Grudge film, just watch Ju-On, it’s superior in every way and almost guaranteed to give you nightmares.

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