If I was to write a one sentence review of this film, it would be: why do filmmakers think long-haired Japanese women making weird throat noises are scary?
And I would leave it at that.
But since I favor longer reviews, I will continue. My first point is that this film to me represents the true end of Sarah Michelle Gellar's career. The final nail in the coffin, no pun intended. You can argue that the Scooby Doo movies are what really did it, but I would say that those films are what brought her down hear career suicide. But The Grudge was supposed to be her comeback. And it didn't work. What has she been in since? Nothing. And that's a shame, because I'm a huge Buffy fan. Not that I think she's a terribly good actress of course, but it just sullies the Buffy franchise when Buffy herself has floated out to the Ocean of Obscurity. We all expected it of Xander and Spike, but Buffy? No. Her comeback failed, as did Sam Raimi's return to horror, but I'll get back to that in a later post. So that's one reason why this movie is such a burden in my life. A sign of the coming Apocalypse of modern horror, if you will.
The next reason is that any time I mention that I love horror or specifically Asian horror, this American remake comes up. I've actually never even seen the original because I'm too scared it will be just as bad, although I've heard much better things about the original (as usual). But when I talk about the scariest movie I've ever seen, some poor sap always brings this one into the conversation.
"Oh-em-gee, I effing love the Grudge, it's so scary, when that little boy meows like a cat! It's not ridiculous, it's scary. I pooped my pants in fear. No joke, that is the best horror movie ever made ever ever in the history of forever. Ever. Also, I loved Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor. And I loved Pearl Harbor."
I just want to cry with the injustice of it all. The way that people won't watch older movies because maybe they're in black and white or there aren't fabulous special effects or they don't star currently popular and vapid teen starlets. What is this world coming to? I just want people to forget this awful, awful film. Move on with your lives, if you are scared by this movie, something is wrong with you. I'm not really sure if it's a fear of foreign places and people or just the fact that people love stupid movies, but I know a lot of people who are scared by this film. Thank you, America, but no, I don't want more remakes of Japanese films. Why can't they just release the originals for our viewing pleasure?
The whole plot is just so convoluted and predictable. Girl goes to foreign country, gets plagued by spirits or imprints or demons or some shit, finds out the ridiculous back story, final battle, girl wins, cliffhanger sort of ending setting up a more ridiculous sequel. Ta-da! Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I know it's a masterpiece. I'll be here all week.
Even all the image presented in the film are stereotypical elements of Japanese remakes. Hair in the woman's face: The Ring. Bathrooms and water: Silent Hill, Dark Water, The Ring. Reliving a back story: The Eye. Creepy Children: The Messengers, The Ring, One Missed Call, Silent Hill, I'll also add Resident Evil in there. These elements are used over and over again in Asian horror and remakes. Yes, sometimes they are very effective, like the element of technology so often used, which I have discussed extensively in previous posts. I can't fathom why these things continue to be frightening or why they were in the first place. But I just know that this movie is awful and I don't want to see this type of film again. Switch it up, Mr. Raimi and other horror producers. I am calling you out specifically, and I challenge you to mix it up.