The Grudge

release year: 2004
genre: horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/9/05

synopsis: Various people suffer from a haunted house that can send its nastiness out into other places.

impressions: A day after watching this, I still haven't figured out why I really didn't like it. It might have been the plot that jumped back and forth in time (flashbacks galore) or it might have been a main character who sits there whimpering while her boyfriend is being attacked by something nasty. It might even have been the hated (by me) tactic of having long periods of silence, necessitating turning the volume way up, and then a sudden blast of "scary' sound. Idiocy. Apparently, this was a remake of a Japanese movie with the same name and plot, just like The Ring; it may be that something was lost in the remaking process. James Berardinelli's review sums it up best: "This is just the tale of how a bunch of stupid people wander into a haunted house and either die while within or shortly thereafter." On the positive side, the concept was interesting: ghosts (more or less) that are dangerous, as opposed to just flying around shaking things and scaring people...and they can leave their house and go cause harm elsewhere. The entire thing was set in a Japanese city, which was different. Another negative: the powers/limitations of the evil being(s) were never really defined or consistent.

things to watch for: When Yoko goes to have a look in the attic.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A little ghost-boy who meows.

acting: Sarah Michelle Gellar did okay, but had no particular strengths as a character. Bill Pullman did a lot of acting in a short amount of screen time. The head Japanese cop was good in his serious role.

final word: Worth seeing once for some chills, but I won't need to watch it again.

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