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'The Grudge' review

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Introduction

The Grudge (15) Director: Takashi Shimizu Release Date: 5 November 2004 (UK) Genre: Horror/ Mystery/Thriller Tagline: "It never forgives. It never forgets." Main actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar - Karen Jason Behr - Doug William Mapother - Matthew Bill Pulman - Peter Takako Fuji - Kayako Yuya Ozeki - Toshio The Grudge can be perceived as a classic haunted house story. It begins with a small written prologue explaining that when a person dies in the grip of a powerful rage, a sinister curse is born. This curse then proceeds to live in the location of the original death and then spreads among the living people who come into contact with it, resulting in their violent deaths. This is then the focal point for all the drama and tension that happens in the film, creating a very successful classic horror film with elements of drama which shock the audience to the core. The film is an American remake of the famous "Ju-On" series which has been very popular in Takashi's Shimizu's homeland of Japan. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays the protagonist Karen Davies who is a college student, studying abroad in Japan, who agrees to cover for another nurse at her work place caring for the elderly; she then has to travel to the assigned house where this person lives. ...read more.

Middle

Alongside Gellar, Jason Behr plays Karen's boyfriend Doug, who is in Tokyo with her when the events of the film happen. Doug is a very selfless character, and cares for Karen a lot, as he took his own life for Karen, and faced the risk and curse of turning into Kayako. Jason Behr does well to play the boyfriend of Karen, who innocently gets involved in Karen's business with The Grudge and pays the ultimate price. His performance was decent as it was in a supporting role, but once again the acting at some points was static. Only at the end of the movie, where Doug was on the verge of dying, I felt like he was very believable. The stand-out performances must go to Takako Fuji and Yuya Ozeki who played the ghostly Kayako and Toshio (the grudges) respectively. Their acting is of an excellent quality throughout, Takako Fuji, in particular, turns in a wonderful, edgy performance as Kayako, whose story throughout the entire movie was very deep and tragic which tied in with all the deaths that followed, as the curse had consumed her. The character of Toshio was very engaging and fit his actor fit the role perfectly, he didn't just look like a kid ...read more.

Conclusion

Shimizu regularly used a crescendo to get the audience ready for something bad to happen, usually a death. It's a very traditional method to make a scene tense in horror films and Takashi Shimizu used it to great effect. The only downside to the sound, was that it was very predictable towards the middle of the film and the end, which meant it got very repetitive; this technique in my opinion can only be used to the greatest effect the first few times it is used. I feel that The Grudge would definitely appeal towards the teenage audience, as there is a fair sense of horror and death, however it is combined to great effect with the complex plot line which all culminates in a frantic ending. In my opinion, the best aspects of the film were the two characters of Kayako and Toshio as they both were very edgy and unpredictable, with a sense of the unnatural about them, which meant for spine-chilling scenes featuring very prolonged eeriness and terrifying deaths. I would give this film a 6/10, as this film had its frightening moments, but the static American characters, in a way put this illustrious series to shame. ...read more.

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