The Grudge

I saw the horror movie The Grudge (official site) last night. That is one relentlessly creepy movie! The sound effects are especially effective. It takes a lot of a movie to scare me, but The Grudge does it. And it’s not all cheap spring-loaded-cat gags, either (though it does have quite a few of those.)

This is a Hollywood remake of the Japanese horror movie, Ju-on (“The Curse”). Unlike most Hollywood remakes of foreign films, they had the same director (Takashi Shimizu) and retained the setting in Japan. This is refreshing. But they were compelled to put American actors (Buffy!) in the lead roles. Perhaps it’s a sly attempt by Hollywood to ease the slow-witted rednecks that Hollywood thinks comprise the entire movie-watching public into watching foreign films. Perhaps the day will come when they will feel brave enough to give an original Japanese movie a wide release here. Not remade, not edited, not dubbed. Movies like Crouching Tiger, Iron Monkey and Hero have demonstrated that this can be done, and they will still make money here.

The Grudge seems to share (steal?) a few visual ideas from The Ring, the other well-known Japanese horror remake. The Ring was quite successful here too, and also relentlessly creepy.

It’s probably an unpopular opinion, but I actually enjoyed the American remake of Ringu more than the Japanese original. Ringu just seems a little bit slow to me. I haven’t seen the original version of Ju-On yet, but I’m sure I will very soon.

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