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Overall Rating
2.66

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look: 8.8%
Just Average: 21.6%
Pretty Crappy: 16.8%
Sucks32.8%

7 reviews, 83 user ratings


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Grudge, The (2004)
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by Jason Whyte

"Don't you just love the idea: remake a 2003 film with the same director?"
1 stars

I looked over the box office numbers for the opening weekend of “The Grudge” with a sigh. If the average ticket costs $8.00 and “The Grudge” grossed $40 million, then that means that five million people threw away their hard-earned cash for what could possibly be the most useless remake of a motion picture this year. (And yes, I’ve seen “Taxi.”) This is an American remake of Takashi Shizimu’s haunted-house picture “Ju-On”, only a little over a year old. What’s worse is this remake is also directed by Shizimu and in the same setting as the first, but with American actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bill Pullman instead of Okina Meguni and Ito Masuki.

The film’s only reason for being here is that the studio, Columbia Pictures, wants to throw out another scary film to make money, but they can’t do that if ignorant American audiences don’t want to read subtitles. Columbia could have easily reissued “Ju-On” into American cinemas and saved a whole lot of money, and with the right marketing could have been a success. Instead, they make this movie, and they also name-drop Sam Raimi onto the credits so people may think they’re seeing something along the lines of “Spider-Man”.

The film has an amusing opening featuring Bill Pullman, who falls out of his apartment window in the first minute. We then go to the mysterious, spooky house that has long halls, creepy kids and a whole lot of cats… or just one I think, but they always seem to be wherever the camera is. Social worker Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is sent into the creepy house which is now being inhabited by a silent, house-bound woman. Karen soon finds out about those long halls, the creepy kids and meets that pesky cat.

And so on. Once the spooks start coming, the narrative jumps over time as we are given clues to other characters who have been involved with the very house. And some more Bill Pullman screen time. Trouble is, the flashbacks just give us more creepy “boo” moments and don’t explain a great deal, and it smacks of just being a neat way to hide the fact there isn’t much of an explanation to begin with.

Above all, “The Grudge” is just a poorly made horror film. Despite a polished look, all of the “BOO!” moments, slow-building narrative and “Oh, It’s Just a Cat” shockers are here, and they have been done before in much better horror films. Easily spooked teenagers might get a kick out of it for a while, and yet the screening I attended was filled with uncomfortable laughter as soon as the screams ended. (I didn’t find any of the “jump” moments particularly THAT nerve-wracking considering I could see most of them in advance). And once again, the investigating police are incredibly incompetent; at one scene a smart cop, who knows of the horrors of the place, decides to burn down the spooky house and then runs to save a crying child he hears in the other room. Doesn’t he know that this house was spooky and the kid would just be an image that the house made up?

While I have yet to see the original, after watching this insipid piece of horror filmmaking, I doubt that with the same talent that the original would be that better. (For a spooky haunted house film, I recommend you check out the South Korea import “A Tale of Two Sisters”, which may very well get its American remake in the future) Still, one can’t really get past the complete waste of money and talent involved to make something so pointless, even if it made that undeserved $40 million dollars. It would make a great double-feature with Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho”.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11076&reviewer=350
originally posted: 10/27/04 01:52:01
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.
Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

10/21/08 Shaun Wallner Fell asleep to this one. 1 stars
9/30/08 Ashley Nicole Hendershot-Wetherington Spoof by Anna Faris in Scary Movie movies is much better. 3 stars
3/10/08 Jayme Isaacs I Really Liked The Grudge Remake 5 stars
9/17/07 Axel The Best horror movie EVER!!!! 5 stars
5/29/07 Charles Tatum Good and unsettling 4 stars
2/19/07 Scully I can breathe backwards slowly too but it doesn't make me scary. 1 stars
2/15/07 Axel Leos Terrifying and eerie 5 stars
1/22/07 jeannie karlsen I was shocked at how scary it was,however, sarah michelle gellar was average at best 4 stars
1/08/07 vero is scarry! i love horror movies but this is the only one that scared me and is hunting me 5 stars
12/07/06 Stanley Thai It's a scary film but it's an average movie, so it's a scary average movie. 3 stars
10/13/06 Chris A pathetic attempt with no plot and no scary scenes. It'd be darn easy to spoof though. 1 stars
10/01/06 Pritchett So bad it was funny, the audience kept laughing at the stupidity of it all. B-A-D movie. 1 stars
9/20/06 simm dis movie is real horrible dan others i hd ever seen 4 stars
9/02/06 Dragon The Artist Why do they let the Japanese even attempt to make horror films? 1 stars
8/29/06 K.Sear See, this is why remakes should be illegal. It's dumbed down for the American public. 1 stars
7/20/06 Frank Rountree good for a rainy day, fair, but just average 3 stars
11/26/05 cr a little confusing story, good acting, scary, but it just seem off 2 stars
11/22/05 Melissa Not scary at ALL, lost in plot, didn't know what was happening! 1 stars
10/27/05 chris good film 4 stars
10/24/05 Anika The Grudge kicks ass guys!! 5 stars
9/20/05 Carolyn Rathburn I was not impressed with this movie, it was just gore without truth 2 stars
9/13/05 bbbr scary suck 1 stars
8/28/05 CxJx scary shit 5 stars
8/16/05 ES I found this movie getting back to the roots of the horror I loved as a kid= scary stuff 5 stars
8/04/05 ^podo not very scary but very entertaining 4 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Japanese influence makes this very interesting. Like it lots. 4 stars
7/21/05 Jordan okay I hate you all for saying this movie sucked its better the LOTR.....rawr!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/20/05 Sir Dude What's this? Hollywood remakes an asian movie, again?! You bastards.. 1 stars
7/14/05 betty i love the gor 5 stars
7/02/05 Eddie WTF 1 stars
7/01/05 ira manley too scary for me 5 stars
6/07/05 John boring and doesn't make sense 1 stars
6/04/05 Charlene Javier Better the second time around. 3 stars
6/03/05 Christy Schultz not bad..hoped for better 3 stars
6/01/05 Ole Man Bourbon enough with the stupid girl. btw, the boy meeowing is the funniest thing since magnolia 2 stars
5/23/05 E-FUNK I've got a grudge with this piece of shit remake... leave the originals alone! 1 stars
4/21/05 Pippin007 NOT SCARY!!!! The story doesn't make sense!! 1 stars
4/14/05 ELI arg. scary... almost as idiotic as the original. Someone should shoot the director.he sucks 1 stars
4/14/05 ELI arg. scary... almost as idiotic as the original. Someone should shoot the director.he sucks 1 stars
3/21/05 Gomer Uh, I think I was scared. Nope. 3 stars
2/24/05 Comixchick One...long...boring...not-scary...zzzzzzzzz....... 2 stars
2/16/05 Rachel Neely Not as creepy as I'd hoped, but still entertaining. 4 stars
2/08/05 Raul Valdez looks scary as hell 5 stars
2/05/05 clinger26 as crappy as the asian version 1 stars
2/03/05 Meredith Harshaw The kinda horror flick of which too many get made -- eerie, but makes no real sense. 1 stars
2/03/05 Heather Purplethorne Threatens to be Sarah Michelle Gellar's breakthrough role but ultimately wastes her. 1 stars
2/01/05 BobbysRedQueen Another Horrible Movie ! Should have been a comedy ! 1 stars
12/25/04 Freddy retarded movie and terrible ending. horrible waste of $$$ 1 stars
12/05/04 da hood' almost as bad as ANCHORMAN! Fucking horrible!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/03/04 jasmine platts this film is grate an dterifying its the best horro film ive seen 5 stars
11/25/04 Caity i thought it was reli good, lots of shock parts 5 stars
11/22/04 Mockingbird So Rotten that I wasn't even scared and I'm scared of everything. Why Geller? 2 stars
11/22/04 Tanya A major dissapointment! Is not worth going to see it... at all! 1 stars
11/21/04 Bobby Creepy and scary, but it had no character development!! Gellar was underused. 4 stars
11/21/04 John Bale A fine essay in the supernatural, albeit Oriental style, despite Gellar. 5 stars
11/20/04 Archanist_101 Not the best & scariest film for this year... But it beats "The Ring"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
11/18/04 Khalecia stop hatin who ever thought it was crud! 5 stars
11/17/04 Courtney Bradley It freaked me out, They should Make a 2nd one. 5 stars
11/16/04 Sesilia Godoy 3 stars
11/15/04 Christina Sullivan THE MOVIE WAS GREAT! 5 stars
11/15/04 Naturezrevenge A sad and predictable re-make of the original. Terrible acting and pitiful timing. Pathetic 1 stars
11/14/04 psycho black dwarf guilty of being completely unnerved by a horror flick that blew it's load in the 1st act! 4 stars
11/07/04 ashley i loved it! it was the most scariest movie i've ever seen since The Ring!!! 5 stars
11/04/04 missy krook teh best movie i ahve seen in a while 5 stars
11/02/04 Al Guy It had the set pieces in place to be scary-BUT, it wasn't! Kids laughed in the theater. Ugg 2 stars
11/01/04 Momo The real terror… People paying to watch a bad version of a good movie… 2 stars
10/31/04 Jeff Terrible, not scary at all, just a blatant ripoff of 'The Ring' 1 stars
10/28/04 Ramona Lee So disappointed! 2 stars
10/27/04 Kris almost as bad as a night with Ben Affleck. 1 stars
10/26/04 Ray Bah 1 stars
10/26/04 mason I've seen scarier Scooby-Doo episodes, shame on you Mr. Raimi... 1 stars
10/26/04 Mike Doyle vivid, entertaining, and hair raising, good time 5 stars
10/25/04 Thran Not terrifying, but atmospheric and creepy. 5 stars
10/25/04 Sonny it was ok....ring was better. 3 stars
10/25/04 Manchild Fun for what it is. Not as dark as the ring. Scare factor depends on the individual 3 stars
10/25/04 BrianWilly Awesome horror flick, one of the best I've seen. 5 stars
10/24/04 karen i love it 5 stars
10/24/04 Naka Not at all thrilling or frightening. Just dumb and cheap. 2 stars
10/24/04 moviedude could do worse, but not a horror classic 4 stars
10/24/04 Dark Romance More of The Ring, but like Ring, super creepy 5 stars
10/23/04 Chelsea This movie hurt me it was so bad. 1 stars
10/23/04 Ebert Rogers Horrible! But somewhat funny. 1 stars
10/23/04 John Olson Crittics be damned!!!!! This is scarier that the ring, I go to a horror movie for the thril 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  22-Oct-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-May-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  18-Nov-2004




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