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, an American Nurse, moves to Tokyo and encounters 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
Great movie with the proper understanding of the culture
There are a lot of comments floating about complaining about a lack of plot or reason behind characters actions. Jabs at it being a copy of The Ring or just another ghost story. Let me try and help out a bit. Hopefully more people will go and see the movie for what it is and not look for Western film theories in an Asian movie.
The plot is very simple, part of the appeal of the series is how effective such a simple story can be. Watch the movie and pay attention. I'm not really sure what people are complaining about. It all seemed very simple to me. Terrible events cause spirits to haunt a house and all those associated with it. Why are they haunting about? Their lives were ended prematurely and under terrible circumstances! What more do you want. I'm a ghost, why do I go and kill jane who came into my house, cause I'm p*ssed about how I died and I'm going to take out on somebody. Simple. Gripe gripe gripe, nothing is being said. Here is what I loved about the movie, ignore everything else I've said and just look for what I saw.
In horror fan is going to love the use of music and sound effects in the movie. Take note of the lack of dialogue in the movie, yet how much emotion is conveyed. I'm sorry it wasn't our beautiful American actors carrying the film. It was brilliant music, sound effects and editing. Welcome to Japanese film. Less is more...blah blah blah.
Key things to look for in Japanese horror, spirits (not ghosts very different then what we think of as a ghost), indicators of the spirit (eyes and hair not chain rattling or moving furniture). The eyes in this movie were not an indication of who was going to be killed, it is not the ring. Eyes are the portals into the spirit. The significance of her eyes flashing into view isn't to tell you who is going to die but to convey the state of the spirits in the film. The hair is a classic Japanese horror technique. Nothing really behind except its creepy and it continues a tradition in a culture that respects tradition.
On to spirits. Not ghosts. We have spirits for everything, good and bad. My dad will tell you that there is a spirit in his coffee mug, a different one then the one in his coffee maker. We all get along provided we pay the proper respect to them by letting them do their thing. Example: My dad makes his coffee and drinks it from his mug respecting the role the spirits had. Don't ask me why but thats what we do. It isn't magic or hokey pokey. We don't pray to any of them save very important ones, say ones that protect your home, they just exist. In the Grudge the significant relationship is the fact that these tortured spirits don't haunt a location as much as they haunt all associated with the place and time of their greatest pain. They aren't ghost of the killed family. They are spirits whose purpose is to cause the pain they have suffered. Back to the coffee. Mug spirit likes to serve coffee and be cleaned and treated well, its his job kind of. Emotional trauma spirit from the movie likes to cause emotional trauma. Get it. They aren't haunting in the western sense of seeking revenge they are spirits created from a traumatic event and are fulfilling their job of continuing what they know best. The prompts at the beginning of the movie explain this. They do a horrible job and say something about being infected with rage but it all is the same.
So why was this movie scary. Beyond the classic use of music and lighting, or the quick edit cut shots and nasty faces of the spirits. Its scary because for a culture that has spirits watching over every little thing you could think of, having a few spirits who's purpose is to cause pain is pretty serious.
Watch the movie with that in mind. That spirits that you believe you function alongside daily can also turn it all around and f things up for you. Oh yeah, you get killed by a spirit created from a terrible even and guess what, you've now become a spirit haunted by pain as well. Get into the music and sound effects, it is great fun.
The skipping about in the timeline is done very well as well.
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