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Overall Rating

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

7 reviews, 83 user ratings

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Grudge, The (2004)
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by Chris Wilson

"They say that when a movie dies in a powerful rage a curse is made..."
3 stars

The good thing about the recent surge of Japanese horror movie imports is that they’re teaching a valuable lesson that few people know: children are frightening little creatures. Especially children with black hair who yowl like cats. I just wish The Grudge had more to offer than this valuable life lesson.

The plot has several Americans (including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bill Pullman) living in Japan for various reasons. This sets up an underdeveloped subplot of culture shock and separation from society. This could easily have been worked to the film’s advantage in creating isolation and fear. Like a horror movie sequel to Lost in Translation. Sadly, this underlying theme is dropped just as quickly as it’s brought up.

The most enjoyable part of The Grudge is how it plays creatively on running from fear. One character becomes frightened of an unknown terror outside her apartment. The young woman crawls into bed and pulls the covers over her. Everyone knows that you can’t be hurt when you have a sheet and blanket wrapped tightly over you. But what happens when your fear crawls in bed with you? The best scene involves the same woman running up a flight of stairs with the evil presence in pursuit. When the frightened woman looks up, she sees the lights above her start to go out, floor by floor. Does she run up into the darkness or face her fear? Now that’s pee your pants scary!

One area The Grudge slips is in its inconsistency with who gets dispatched by the curse and how it happens. While that's bad enough, the worst thing a horror movie can do is cheat you with its scares. Just like a drama cheating your emotions with contrived situations, if a horror movie fakes too many scares with music or visual shocks it cheapens the experience. The Grudge uses plenty of these tactics but usually has enough style to make up for it.

Where The Grudge does cheat the audience is with its storytelling. What ends up being a very simple tale is made seemingly complex by its overly fragmented telling. Instead of getting to know any of the characters, the film jumps erratically between stories and times as the audience waits for it all to tie together. This was essential to Memento and pulled off beautifully in Pulp Fiction, but the chronology jumping in those movies wasn’t to make up for a lack of story or character.

Some call The Grudge a bad adaptation of the Japanese source material. This might have been a valid argument if original director Takashi Shimizu didn’t also direct the American version of the film. While it has more plot than most movies of its caliber, it doesn’t have enough to fully satisfy. There are just too many characters floating around and too little for all of them to do. Besides die.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11076&reviewer=400
originally posted: 06/01/05 03:57:58
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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
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  22-Oct-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 17-May-2005



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