The Grudge (2004)


Takashi Shimizu


Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr


When a person dies in the midst of a hissy fit, it generates a curse that kills and kills and kills and messes with telecoms systems.


I am a big fan of the original Japanese Ju-On movies, also by Shimizu. I was also not disappointed by the Americanised (should that be -ized) version of the Ring, which is superior to the sequel and the Korean version. This, though I found to be a bit of a let-down.

I realise that writing from this perspective is probably just as annoying as people who say "yeeah, it okaaaay, but I preferred the book which I had read before I saw the film". *SPANG*. But I have no choice. The film is essentially a direct port of a mix of the Japanese movies, with a couple of basic plot changes, and, which is the major issue, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Now I am not in the habit of knocking people just for being celebrities - in fact, SMG was great in Cruel Intentions, and Buffy was at least entertaining. But in this she is just rather flat and unbelievable.

As for the other complaints, they are niggly ones...

  • The quality of the film is a bit too good - the made-for-tv look works a bit better atmosphere-wise
  • The cracky-neck lady is a bit shinier than the Japanese, as is the kid (more reminiscent of the most recent J-version).
  • The noise (that she makes, and that comes down the telephone) is subtly different, with more of a growl than just that clicky 'dolphin on a rack' sound that creeped me out so much originally
  • Certain plot conversions don't work...the relocation of the entire family (sister included) to accomodate one person is not a western concept.

    This is not to say it is a bad film, and even knowing what the plot was I still jumped in the right bits, but it doesn't hold favourably in comparison to the originals. What it has achieved though, it to rightfully raise the profile of V-Cinema, in conjunction with the Ring adapation. All in all, not bad, but could try harder, and look a bit rougher.

    Rating: 7 / 10