The Grudge is a Japanese fright flick, recently adapted for an American audience. American exchange student Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) lives with her boyfriend (Jason Behr) in Tokyo. She is sent as a substitute caregiver to the home of a catatonic American woman, Emma Williams (Grace Zabriskie). Karen senses that something is not right about this disheveled and eerie home. Strange creaking and scratching sounds come from various places. Upon further investigation, Karen finds a little Japanese boy locked in a closet. Emma’s daughter (Kadee Strickland), son (William Mapother) and daughter-in-law (Clea DuVall) are rendered petrified and dead by the evil presence that drains the life of those in the home. Through a series of flashbacks, the audience learns the history of this house and the apparent curse born from rage — the grudge — that has been passed from resident to resident through the years.
First let me say that I am not a big horror film fan, other than the classic Hitchcock. With that said, there isn’t much to be said for this film. There were a few times where I jumped in my seat, but not too many. I think mainly that was due to an implausible story line that just made it not too scary. As far as horror films go, this one is very tame. Not much graphic violence, hardly any foul language. I was impressed with the writer’s and director’s taste for not including all that gratuitous stuff.
The house is haunted by, Japanese Legend has it, as a result of a passionate and violent killing. It is said that once connected with the house, the “grudge” will never let you go. Pretty far-fetched stuff.
The Grudge can’t receive the Dove Seal because of the occult theme of the film. Some adults may enjoy the film if they are avid horror film buffs. Otherwise, rent Psycho, or Rear Window or The Birds or any other classic Hitchcock tale.