HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Grudge, The Keep Out
Year: 2004
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Grace Zabriskie, Bill Pullman, Clea DuVall, William Mapother, Ryo Ishibashi, KaDee Strickland, Ted Raimi, Rosa Blasi, Yoko Maki, Yuya Ozeki, Takako Fuji, Takashi Matsuyama
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: A man (Bill Pullman) stands on the balcony of his Tokyo apartment, while his wife bids him good morning from her bed. But he's not interested in what she has to say, and suddenly jumps over the rail to his death. Some time later, a care assistant arrives at a house elsewhere in the city and finds that the place is deserted except for Emma (Grace Zabriskie), the old woman she is supposed to be looking after. Thinking this is strange, the carer attends to Emma and starts to tidy up the house, venturing upstairs to a bedroom where she hears odd noises coming from the attic. Inside a cupboard she finds a door in the ceiling and opens it, climbing up to examine the source of the noises, when abruptly she is caught by something unseen and panics. The next day, she doesn't show up for work, so someone must go and take her place...

Another of the string of Hollywood remakes of Japanese hits, this adaptation of Ju-On: The Grudge was scripted by Stephen Susco, but crucially retained the writer/director of the original, Takashi Shimizu, on board to oversee this one. Wisely as it turns out, the newer version keeps a host of set ups and scenes from the first version, and even stays in Japan, meaning the two films look very similar in style. Unfortunately, the flaws of the original are present also, so the episodic nature of the story creates the same stop-start lack of momentum, and the characters tend to look as if they're only around to be terrorised by supernatural forces rather than to give us someone to identify with and champion. Nevertheless, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen the American student abroad becomes more of a heroine figure than anyone in Ju-On.

Karen also works as a care assistant to earn her credit on her course, and she is sent to the imposing house replace the mysteriously disappeared previous girl. She finds Emma, who is practically a catatonic, in a bad way as if no one has seen her for days, and looks after the woman, but gets no information from her as to what might have happened and where the rest of her family are. To cut a long story short, Karen ends up being frightened into a comatose state by an black apparition which floats above Emma's bed, only she doesn't disappear - but we don't see that for a while as the narrative of the film goes back and forward in time to explain the nature of the terrible curse that is infesting the house like a plague, and being passed onto anyone who goes inside and pokes their nose around for too long.

Now we see the story of Emma's family: her son Matthew (William Mapother) and his wife Jennifer (Clea Duvall) who had moved to Japan from America with Matthew's job. Pretty much what you'd expect after having seen the first two hauntings happens, with the family falling victim to the curse (which nobody calls a "grudge") but the chilly, curiously flat and matter of fact atmosphere is enhanced by some interesting effects and scare sequences. As usual with such things, if you've seen the original then the remake will suffer in comparison, and it doesn't help that the best parts of the American version are lifted pretty much whole from the Japanese, but they remain worthy enough.

Karen has survived and after a stay in hospital she is determined to work out exactly what is happening at the ghost house. Meanwhile the curse is spreading as Matthew's sister Susan (KaDee Strickland) is hunted down in one of the strongest sections which showcases the Japanese horror films' obsession with creepy kids, spooky uses of technology and threatening female figures clad in white with long black hair covering their faces. As Karen uncovers more, with brutal murders apparently the source, the curse shows no sign of letting up, and its idea of the aftereffects an outrage being akin to an infectious disease - and a deadly one at that - is one of its most potent. Alas, the need to bring all these events to a head results in one character acting like a complete idiot with the ending unsatisfyingly melodramatic, but The Grudge is by no means a failure - file it under "nice try". Music by Christopher Young.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4179 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Takashi Shimizu  (1972 - )

Japanese writer/director and the man behind the hugely successful Ju-on films. Ju-on and Ju-on 2 were made for TV, while 2003's Ju-on: The Grudge was a bigger budget feature film, which Shimizu sequalised the same year. In 2004 directed a Hollywood version of the story, as the Sam Raimi-produced The Grudge, which he followed with The Grudge 2 before finally opting for alternative tales.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: