Friday, September 08, 2006

You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: The Grudge

I'm a fan of remakes. To a point.

I enjoyed what happened with the new "Dawn of the Dead," though the idea of an Olympic sprinting zombie scares the crap out of my crap.

On the other hand, I think the umpteenth remake of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre will bring about an end to mankind.

I thought the retelling of the Star Wars universe was pretty.

Pretty bad.

So how should I feel when a great director, Sam Raimi (Spider-man, Army of Darkness), enters the field of Japanese horror?

Now don't get me wrong, I love the Japanese. They have amazing culture, attractive women, and sweet sweet food. Not as sweet as Chinese food, but what would expect from a Yid like me?

But there is something...odd about their defenition of "horror".

Allow me to explain.

This is a story about a ghost. Well, a ghost of sorts. You see...

"When a person dies a violent death, the spirit remains in the house, and whoever enters that spirit's home will be cursed."

I thought the premise was awesome. I loved "Poltergeist" and any movie involving demonic possession. The trailer looked kick-awesome, and it had Mr. Raimi at the helm. That plus Sarah Michelle Gellar (of Buffy fame), who is indeed a looker, steered me to a movie theater.

I was...confused?

The movie is interesting, in that it uses a scarcely touched upon device to invoke fear: audible clues.

I'm not talking about music, because anyone can do music. I'm talking about ambience and such.

With "The Grudge", the main instrument was the death rattle.

Seriously, they would have whole scenes where this weird rattling, gurgling, dying sound filled the screen.

By the end of the movie, however, I found the sound funny. I make fun of it now, rattling it off whenever my friends and I wander dark alleys (which happens more often than not).

The acting is fine in this, for a horror movie. The effects can be disturbing, but not too much so. The gore is...missing at times, but in your face (or lower jaw) at others.

Bill Pullman (Independence Day) gets a little screen time just to move the "plot" along, but doesn't get time to use his talent in this flick.

Throw in pointless extras who need some death and you have a pretty tepid horror film.

I give this movie a takin-Sarah-Michelle-Gellar-to-a-cinema-only-to-have-her-walk-out-halfway-through.

I'd recommend reading the back cover of this whilst wandering Best Buy. Then put it down.

And leave it at that.

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