|31 Days of Horror: Day 4|
The Grudge begins with a foreword: "When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage, a curse is born. The curse gathers in that place of death. Those who encounter it will be consumed by its fury." So...it's a "curse," not a "grudge?" We're not off to a great start, are we?
|What if I told you there was ramen-sniffing later? Is that better?|
|Above: America's greatest President, contemplating comedy gold|
|At least she won't sing on the next Plastic Ono Band album|
|This is the furthest thing I can imagine from the Care Bear Stare|
|This film was brought to you by the Commission to Never Adopt Asian Children|
Let's talk about the acting in The Grudge for a few moments. As far as the creepy Asian grudgelings go, they were all fine. You might recognize Takako Fuji and Yuya Ozeki as the creepy lady and Cat Boy from the original film, Ju-On: The Grudge. They were respectably weird and unsettling, even if screen captures from their scariest scenes sometimes look like the opening to some disgusting fetish porn.
|"It's so...how you say...BIG!"|
|Why does the elevator have windows if they're just looking at hallways?|
|Is that "abject despair" or "I forgot my keys"?|
|All she would need to look scared is glance at the old lady|
The Grudge was directed by Takashi Shimizu. He also wrote and directed all four of the Japanese Ju-On movies before this one. In other words, Shimizu knows his creepy Asian kids.
|Except for the rap video, of course|
Before I ramble on about the many faults of The Grudge, I should point out that there are a few very good visual moments. Both Toshio and the lady with all the hair were visually stunning. Toshio's cat noises were definitely unique and unsettling. The lady being under the covers, while really stupid, was definitely one of the highlights of the film, visually. My favorite moment, though, was the fingers in Gellar's hair.
|Unfortunately, not a result of punching through her face|
I can see why some people might be frightened by The Grudge. It's a supernatural threat that attacks you without any clear cause and it can come after you anywhere at any time. But there are a lot better scary movies out there. Let's look at the story. It is told in a nonlinear fashion, so there isn't a logical build to a clear threat or showdown. Instead, there is sequence after sequence of people entering a house and dying. Except when they don't, in which case the weird killer ghost things follow you home or (if you're Sarah Michelle Gellar) let you live for presumably several months in fear. Where's the scares or suspense in that? And then there is an inexplicable time-travel/mind-reading/flashback scene where past events are shown in not-cliche-at-all grainy black-and-white. This is the scene where the dastardly secret of this film is supposed to be explained, and the best way to do that is by having Sarah Michelle Gellar warp time and space? I would have been fine with that (maybe) if the reveal was interesting at all. But it's not. No shit, some people got murdered in the house --- we've known that for a damn hour!
|But did you know it caused GHOST CRAWLING?!?|
|That is the expression I had on my face for this whole movie|