out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Bill Pullman, Clea Duvall, William R. Mapother, Kadee Strickland, Rosa Blasi, Grace Zabriskie, Ted Raimi||
Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4
THE GRUDGE, a slump-in-your-seat, would-be thriller, is a shockless shocker.
No matter how many horror movie clichés it turns to -- "Don't open that
door" moments, apparitions that appear out of nowhere, cats that hiss and
sudden loud noises -- the movie is much more likely to induce small smiles
than the intended jumps.
In a failed experiment, Takashi Shimizu, the writer and director of the
Japanese original, JU-ON: THE GRUDGE, was put in charge of its Hollywood
remake. But rather than being creepily intriguing, the movie is slow and
plodding. The characters aren't interesting, and story has no original
ideas. The plot concerns a cursed house in Japan that keeps killing
visitors. The film makes the fatal mistake of showing the story's not very
frightening monster way too soon.
Sarah Michelle Gellar gives an instantly forgettable performance as Karen,
an exchange student studying social work in a foreign land. Other than
playing the usual game of guessing who is going to die when, the movie
provides only one other treat. We learn that real estate agents on the
other side of the world are just as ambitious as they are here. When an
agent discovers a killer in the bathroom, he doesn't disclose it to the
buyer but gets him to sign on the dotted line as quickly as possible.
THE GRUDGE runs 1:36. The film is in English and in Japanese with English
subtitles. It is rated PG-13 for "mature thematic material, disturbing
images/terror/violence, and some sensuality" and would be acceptable for
kids around 12 and up.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
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