Leaving with a ‘Grudge’

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By Johnathan Kroncke

By Johnathan Kroncke

“The Grudge” was touted as being one of the scariest movies of all time, even more so than “The Ring.” Well, if “The Ring” is now the new standard by which we judge all horror movies, then moviegoers everywhere are in a lot of trouble.

This movie failed to provide a decent and original plot and it completely dropped the ball on creating excitement or suspense. Even with the potentially good premise of whenever a person dies in an emotional state a curse is born, they could not come up with a decent script.

The story is centered on Karen Davis, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Karen is a young American nurse who has transferred to Tokyo, Japan. While taking care of an elderly woman stricken with what appears to be Alzheimer’s, Karen begins to see and experience supernatural occurrences in the house in which the old woman lived. The previous care-taker disappeared mysteriously.

After the old woman dies Karen becomes determined to figure out just what was going on despite her paralyzing fear of what she might find.

Aided by a Japanese detective, she desperately tries to piece together the clues of the house’s past.

Unfortunately, “The Grudge” turned into your average, run-ofthe-mill horror flick. There was nothing new or exciting about it and watching it became very tedious after the first half-hour. As is the case with most horror movies, the main character was the only one who had any meaning. Everyone else was just fillers. With the exception of the detective, the other actors weren’t necessary to the storyline and their performances were far from acceptable.

The suspense of this movie was completely shot right from the beginning.

In “The Grudge,” the ghost is shown at the beginning of the film, permanently killing any possibility of thrill or exhilaration. There is nothing frightening about a horrible creature crawling down the stairs when you’ve seen it 15 times and they show what it looks like in the previews. Things popping out from dark corners or from behind doors are no substitute for real suspense or fear.

Despite starting off with a potentially interesting story, “The Grudge” fell short of creating any drama or suspense. In the beginning, we are presented with this idea that there is some sort of evil inhabiting this house. Instead of taking that idea and just leaving it as this innate evil that simply exists, the writers butchered it. They tried to create a tragic background, the type that we’ve all seen before that is completely predictable down to the last scene of the film.

The one thing that “The Grudge” did do well was the imagery. When one of the characters is riding an elevator and you see this ghostly boy on every door she passes, that looks visually appealing. The same goes for how they had the ghost crawling down the stairs in the jerky, almost, stop-motion type of way. Regardless, alluring special effects do not make a great movie.

The bottom line, your $8 are for too precious to be spent on this movie.

Lacking any decent storyline, passable acting or even a good title, “The Grudge” is more of a comedy than a horror movie.

While it does have interesting visuals, the plot holes are too numerous and suspense is too weak. Your money can be better spent on other things.

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