Grudge's initial scene, Peter Kirk (Bill Pullman) gets out of
bed, turns to look at his wife, and then throws himself out the window
of his apartment. After setting its hooks into me with this unexpected
opening, I thought I was in for a very disturbing and engrossing supernatural
thriller. Well, I've been wrong before and I was wrong this time.
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr,
and Bill Pullman
Grudge tells the story of a house in Japan that appears to be cursed.
Using a rather annoying time-shifting method, we learn what leads Karen
(Sarah Michelle Gellar), an American exchange student, to enter the house
and discover its unusual contents.
While I won't get into specifics, I was expecting a creepy flick along
the lines of 2002's The Ring which, like The Grudge, was based on an original
Japanese horror movie. Instead, I got a really confusing hodge-podge of
scary scenes that, in the end, didn't amount to a plot of any significance.
There is definitely a scary movie buried under all the confusion, but
I prefer to be scared as much by a concept as I am by a bunch of interesting
special effects and things jumping out of nowhere.
The idea behind The
Grudge -- the fact that a curse is created when someone
dies in rage of emotional fury -- and the film's way of translating that
concept into creepy images are both superb but the plot is as transparent
as the ghosts we're supposed to be seeing.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, while receiving top billing, isn't actually in
the movie for very long. She is on-screen long enough to dispel any possibilities
about her having a successful acting career post-Buffy the Vampire
If this performance and her work in the Scooby Doo movies are the best
she has to offer, she better start praying for a Buffy movie now.
haven't seen the original film, Ju-On:
The Grudge, which was directed
by Takashi Shimizu, the same man who directed this English remake, but
I have a feeling it was probably more interesting and easier to understand.
slightly different versions of the film were used for test screenings.
One was R-rated, while the other was rated PG-13. The PG-13 cut, which
had toned down some of the disturbing images, tested better with screeners.
Internet Movie Database)