|Directed by:||Takashi Shimizu|
|Written by:||Stephen Susco|
|Cast:||Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Clea DuVall, Courtney Webb|
You know when you watch a horror film and its scary, tense, freaky, atmospheric, riddled with dread and completely memorable? You naturally assume that once you visit such a film again it would still have at least some of these attributes still intact even if you know the outcome. Instead, you realize everything that was wrong with the movie you should've noticed the first time around, because all the aspects that made it great has all but evaporated. That's how I felt re-visiting "The Grudge."
I know I'm the first one to say that "The Ring" remake is way better than its original, but this is NOT the case with The Grudge. The original this film is based off of, "Ju-on: The Grudge" is beyond freakier and still downright nightmare-inducing, while this film just ultimately falls as flat as Kate Hudson's boobs because of numerous reasons.
I will mention first off that this remake still manages to keep the creep factor on high, and establishes its set pieces quite eloquently. The problem is, the payoffs aren't even remotely captivating in the slightest. Anyone whose ever seen a haunted house film or any other horror film will not feel anything for this. I tried to get to that mindset, but I never did. Just didn't happen.
Another problem I feel this movie suffers from is, considering how long it is....uhm...nothing...really happens. Seriously, everything that transpires could easily have been filed down. Most of its screen time is set toward setting up its scares and kills, (if they even were kills, who could tell they cut away from most of them right after the money shots.) instead of actually driving its story to its lukewarm conclusion. While this may be effective or compelling for a first time viewer, when it comes to creating that sense of dread, a second viewing just makes you realize how goddamn sleep-inducing it all truly is.
The performances aren't anything to run home to momma about either. While I'm a huge fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar, I always felt that she has never really found her niche when it comes to horror films, and here is where it starts to resonate to its fullest. Her character is cool when it comes to being shocked, scared, confused, and beautiful, but not much else.
We get an appearance from Yoko Maki and Ryo Ishibashi who have been in a few J-horror classics, but their talents are utterly wasted on the proceedings making them unnecessary fodder instead of full in-depth characters.
Bill Pullman's character is really the only one that seems to push the story at all, but he still just kind of...walks..and looks...through his role without any kind of presence, charm, or actual acting. Another waste of talent.
Honestly no other character is even worth mentioning because they seriously weren't used within a modicum of their potential. Plus Clea Duvall is in this and I seriously can't stand her because she has NO talent whatsoever. Movie loses points for her involvement alone.
In the end this is just a remake that became your standard horror movie...although come to think of it...it didn't even have that much horror in it either...just atmosphere, which doesn't work much if there isn't anything behind it to give the scenes that extra jolt and edge toward completion.
This film is actually for the argument that remakes water down their initial original material, because "Ju-on" is everything this movie wasn't and then some...my advice, watch that and leave this one alone...unless you want to impress a date that scares easily so you can earn extra points for being a tough guy or girl. So...yea...