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From filmmaker Sam Raimi (Spider-Man(r), Army of Darkness) and acclaimed Japanese director Takashi Shimizu comes a terrifying tale of horror in the tradition of The Ring and 28 Days Later. Sarah Michelle Gellar (TV's Buffy The Vampire Slayer ) stars as an American nurse who has come to work in Tokyo. Following a series of horrifying and mysterious deaths, she encounters the vengeful supernatural spirit that possesses its victims, claims their souls, then passes its curse to another person in a spreading chain of horror. Now, she must find a way to break this supernatural spell or become the next victim of an ancient evil that never dies, but forever lives to kill.
- "A Powerful Rage: Behind the Grudge" - a five part making-of documentary
- Cast and crew commentary including Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, Sarah Michelle Gellar and more
- Under the Skin Featurette - explores the medical explanation of the fear response in film
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But THE GRUDGE -- very soon, My husband the 'nam doorgunner, simply refused to keep watching.
I nearly went over the back of the sofa at least twice.
We have wrapped up the video and put a rock on it until we can get it back to the library.
We're NEVER going to watch THE GRUDGE again, not even at Hallowe'en.
(Japanese culture note: It's bad enough to kill the innocent. But kill a cat or the fox it represents -- and the consequences never run out).
PRECISION: I never watched the original "Ju-on: the grudge" Japanese version so I am unable to compare it to this American remake.
Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is an American nurse living and working in Tokyo. She is efficient and hardworking and therefore she handles already numerous assignments, but her boss Alex (Ted Raimi) asks her to take one more patient, an aged American woman named Emma Williams (Grace Zabriskie). Emma lives alone in a large and old (by Tokyo's standards) house and she needs care because she suffers from dementia and lethargy - or Yoko (Yoko Maki), the usually very reliable previous nurse assigned to her didn't report to work for a couple of days...
This actually is not the real beginning of the story, because the action of this film is as non-linear as it is humanly possible, with numerous flash-backs and with some new plots kicking in all the time - and that is precisely part of my problem with "The Grudge". Non-linear narration is a very excellent thing but only if the director keeps things under strict control - here it is not the case and even if the logic of the story is ultimately preserved it takes a great effort to keep up with the developments. Personally, considering that the film was not so good anyway, towards the end I didn't feel like making this effort anymore because all those narrative acrobatics tired me instead of intriguing...
The other problem I had with this film that, unlike the chillingly terrifying "The Ring", this film is hardly scary AT ALL. There is only a couple of really good scenes, but in a 92 minutes film it is not nearly enough.
The main strength of this film is in Sarah Michelle Gellar, who reveals herself here as a much better actress than usually believed - and of course she is still cute as a button, exactly as in "Buffy" TV series. Her character is likeable and clearly vulnerable (do not expect any martial arts) and therefore I was concerned about what will happen to her all the time - it was actually what kept me watching this thing until the very end...
The other asset is Detective Nakagawa (Ryo Ishibashi), a tough, courageous and competent police officer who already had to do with Emma's house in the past and is clearly scared s***less by this place - but nevertheless will do his duty with cold, resigned resolution.
Still, the good points notwithstanding, this is not a very successful film. Watchable, but nothing more and especially nowhere near the quality of "The Ring".