Three interwoven stories about a terrible curse. A young woman encounters a malevolent supernatural force while searching for her missing sister in Tokyo; a mean high school prank goes horribly wrong; a woman with a deadly secret moves into a Chicago apartment building.
Karen Davis is an American Nurse moves to Tokyo and encounter a supernatural spirit who is vengeful and often possesses its victims. A series of horrifying and mysterious deaths start to occur, with the spirit passing its curse onto each victim. Karen must now find away to break this spell, before she becomes its next victim. Written by
I hate to throw out lines like this, but in this case I feel like I have to: the American remake of THE GRUDGE is by far the worst film I have seen in theaters in the last 5 years. There, I said it. And now that I have gotten that out of my system, please let me explain why.
"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." That is the premise of THE GRUDGE and I will admit it sounds intriguing. Unfortunately, the filmmakers take it no further. Those who encounter the "curse" are indeed consumed by its fury and that is all you get. You want more? Well too bad. Some critics and fans are pointing out that the sole purpose of THE GRUDGE is to scare you. The problem is that when there is no plot to speak of, creepy images and sounds can only go so far. Director Takashi Shimizu, pulling a George Sluizer and remaking his own original film(s), valiantly attempts to build atmosphere in the first hour by repeating the same scene over and over and over and over. It pretty much unfolds like this:
-person walks into house
-something flashes by the camera and/or a strange sound is heard
-person goes to investigate
-sound starts to get loud
-person sees a ghost
-loud scream and/or cat screech
-cut to black
Before the audience is even given a hint of plot, this exact same scenario unfolds 5 times in the first hour. The first time was actually somewhat creepy. Each subsequent use became laughable as the film went on. By the time the end of the film rolled around, my friend and I were laughingly wondering if this scene would end "with a loud scream and a cut to black." We were never proved wrong.
The film has no liner storyline, instead unfolding in a series of vignettes that leave the audience jumbled. I have no problem with non-linear storytelling when it is done right. The film jumps from time period to time period with no rhyme or reason. I haven't seen a movie in such a state since the opening of the theatrical version of HIGHLANDER 2. And this storytelling technique mars any sort of mystery that film could have possibly had. If you already know the ghosts have scared two characters to death, how is it shocking when their bodies are found in the attic? And why should we care when a detective tries to investigate the mysterious disappearances when we already know what happened to everyone?
Obviously greenlit the second the American version of THE RING made $15 million its first weekend, THE GRUDGE is nothing but calculated imitation disguised as an actual movie. The scariest things about THE GRUDGE are that it made $40 million dollars its first weekend and some people consider it the "scariest movie ever made." I wonder what happens to those who get consumed by the fury of paying to see THE GRUDGE?
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