First I'll tackle the good things about this film, of which there are few, but they deserve mentioning and as much of a reprieve as anyone can give them. Aiko Horiuchi replaces Takako Fuji as Kayako (creepy crackling voice lady) and picks up the role fairly well. Any fault in her appearance lies with the director, Toby Wilkins, who I will get to in a moment. The only other two notable performances come from the female leads, Johanna Braddy and Takatzuna Mukai and might not so much be notable as much as they just sharply contrast their terrible surroundings.
Now, on to the awful stuff. I think the large majority of the critics of the first two films, as I have understood them on here, find that the they were cryptic and difficult to follow. They have gotten their wish for an easy to interpret, spoon-fed, linear-flowing, cheesy horror film in The Grudge 3. Gone are the intelligent and subtle left-to-the-imagination disappearance kills. Artistic and suspenseful cinematography have been replaced by bland, formulaic and frightfully comical scenes. Brad Keene and Toby Wilkins have crafted an hour-and-a-half long slap in the face of director Takashi Shimizu who re-invented the haunted house horror film by making his own rules and breaking all the ones in the book.
Normally I am given pause when criticizing the artistic vision of writers, directors and actors who put their work on the line for what is largely a very unforgiving audience. In this case, however, the writer and director were toying with another man's vision and the hard work and creative energy he expended trying to bring something original into the world. I am dumbstruck by how a duo could miss the theme of a series so entirely. Ultimately, The Grudge 3 adds nothing to the mythology of the films and takes away a substantial amount.