Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Grudge

I've never seen the Japanese version of this film, Ju-On, so I'm going into this one cold.

The plot is this: When someone dies while extremely sad or extremely angry the place where they died is forever marked with that emotion. The death is relived over and over again, and anyone who comes into contact with that place becomes infected with that mark and will eventually succumb to it.

Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Karen, an American girl studying medicine in Japan who becomes infected with the Grudge mark. She's serviceable in the film, but she could've invested a little more emotion into her performance. Her character sees some truly terrifying things, and yet she never once breaks down and cries, even when people she deeply cares for get injured or die. Most of the cast is decent as well.
The scares are plentiful, as is the disturbing imagery. The ghosts are extremely cool looking and work well, but a lot of the female ghost images are stolen right out of The Ring. Still, it's creep out city.

What this film is missing is the horror and the payoff. Sure the movie is creepy, but that's it. The scares are mostly of the "boo" variety, and the film seems to be building up to this grand finale where we are supposed to find out exactly what is going on and how it relates to all that came before it (through some very cool flashbacks), but it never comes. It's fairly predictable and it's left open for a sequel (that I hear is on the fast track now that this film is a hit).

I also found it distracting that everyone in this film that hears a "strange noise" in this haunted house absolutely MUST investigate it. Even after seeing a small child or some kind of specter they still push on! It gets kind of old.
What really bugged me is that the direction the film leads us, and where we end up at the finale. The only rug that gets pulled out from under us is the puss out ending. I can deal with plot holes and inconsistencies, but when we get a tacked on ending just to lead into a sequel I get a bit miffed.

It's a cool little film. It's slow yet effective, but worthwhile if you like genuinely creepy films. Not for all tastes though. If you liked The Ring you'll like this.

3 of 5

*written 10/26/04

No comments:

Post a Comment