Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Month of Horror Day 27: The Grudge (2004)

Basement contributor Matt Bellamy has taken it upon himself to watch and review at least one horror movie a day for the month of October . . . because he's awesome that way! Tonight, Bellamy learns it's never good to become trapped in the grip of a terrible rage.

Much more of a straight up remake of its Japanese original than 'The Ring' was, 'The Grudge' doesn't try to relocate to North America but instead stays right where its source material originated. The decision to stay in Japan but bring in American actors like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bill Pullman was a refreshing one--who says everything needs to be set on U.S. soil? I don't think this outing is quite as strong as 'The Ring' but that's my own personal opinion because I didn't think the original, 'Ju On', had the most amazing story either however it's still fairly entertaining and scary in all the right places.

The basic premise here is that whenever someone dies in the grip of either extreme rage or sorrow, a curse is born of that entity and anyone else who encounters that supernatural force will also die, and so on, and so forth. It's a bit of a flimsy idea that seems a tad ridiculous the more you think about it but sometimes, in horror especially, over-thinking can be a detriment so you need to learn to shut off that over-analytical part of your brain! Now, I should say that I'm a bit of a wuss who jumps at almost anything and everything in horror movies (probably something to do with my fear of fireworks and loud noises as a youngster) so this flick tested that a number of times! It's a bit of an embarrassing tick of mine but oh well, it usually makes it all the more entertaining for other people who are watching movies like this with me, enjoying my over-the-top reactions.

I do love a good ghost story although J-horror has never been my favourite because I find the majority of their stories about hauntings are usually a tad "out there" and 'The Grudge' is no different in that department. I did enjoy a bit of the non-linear structure here, jumping around throughout stories and timelines to keep things lively and interesting--most horror movies are all about point A to point B, to C-style plotting so it's nice when things get mixed up a bit here and there. I have not seen the sequel, but I understand it's not quite as good. However it looks like it's on Netflix so, who knows, maybe I'll give it a shot! Or, should I avoid it, what do you think?

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  1. Good review. While it definitely had a few chills and thrills, the movie is still dumb. However, I did like its non-linear structure, which I don't usually see in current horror movies.

    1. Appreciate the response Dan. In my opinion, it was a solid first watch but doesn't hold up over time - J