I was ready to do this one. I had my restraining chair's wrist straps oiled (trust me, those things chafe after the first hour of a horrible film) and had hired the guy to put the eye drops in my pupils, when Jason yanked it away from me EXCITED to watch this. Hear that folks...you can't put this one on me. He was looking forward to it, and I wasn't about to argue with him. Here's Jason's take on part tres of the horror series...
The Grudge 3
: Even Grudgier!
Let's clear the air here. I liked 'The Grudge 2'
. There. That's out on the table. Get your laughing and mocking out of the way. It's done. Let's move on.
No, I don't remember what it was about. There were a lot of incomprehensible oddities and the Japanese obsession with hair and water. As I recalled, it was an unholy albino kid that made noises like a cat in heat. There were random, inexplicable scares and the story was secondary. The film just served as a platform to launch weird shit at you. Go read the wiki. I can't help you here. Much like the Saw
franchises, "The Grudge"
has been grinding them out to DVD since the erstwhile Buffy
had a hand pop out of the back of her skull.
The key to the murky mythology is this - The Grudge
is a haunting that worms it's way victim to victim like a virus, infecting the lives of those who cross it's path. The latest haunted hot zone is a family-run urban apartment complex. The Grudge
sets up shop there and starts sucking in prey. It's the hanging-by-a-thread family that keeps things interesting, though. Lisa
, and Max
carry along enough human drama that, while slightly forced, provides something for the viewer to connect to. Strangely, the garden variety pitfalls of life carry the movie until the halls are filled with cat noises and the black-haired Onryo
What's unusual for the 2nd straight-to-DVD sequel of a tepid remake is that the film introduces a variety of characters that have their own purpose, other than becoming victims of The Grudge
. There are a few hollow exchanges, but mostly capable acting. Naturally, the lead actress is a 'Plucked from the CW'
doll. She acquits herself nicely, but there's nothing remarkable about her. The decline in star power as the series continues makes me chuckle. They started with Sarah Michelle Gellar
in her prime, moved on to Amber Tamblyn
, and now Johanna Braddy
, a girl who was in an episode of 'Drake and Josh'
. By the time they get to Grudge 7
, it will be a PA
who worked on "Daddy Day Camp 2"
The team behind the film seem to understand that at its core, The Grudge
is a ghost story. They adopt the conventions of a classic haunting, but with a few inventive tweaks, not the least of which are some unnerving visual tricks A handful of standout scares had me recoiling. They take a few moments to enrich the origins of the Ju-On
by providing a brief back story that doesn't feel shoehorned into the film. Despite all of these efforts, it has a difficult time rising above what it is - another sequel to "The Grudge"
- Only 3. As you could imagine, there's little of consequence here.
- The name is a mishmash of Tokyo, Chicago, and Bulgaria. The film has scenes in Tokyo and scenes in Chicago. All of it was shot in Bulgaria, which is really the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of a Tokyo ghost haunting a Chicago family. Funny how often money dictates a straight to video horror sequel gets booted to an Eastern European country these days (Boogeyman 3
-'The Curse Continues' Featurette
- In order to pad the DVD with a few features, they seemed to split the 'making of' featurettes into two pieces. It's kind of cheating, but who needed a wealth of extras here, anyway?
Chances are, you're only going to see this film if you're a fan of the series or you have someone like Cyrus
to shove it into your hands. The back story is just tangled enough that viewing the first two is highly recommended. It's not an extraordinarily rewarding experience, but it has the heart of a solid spook story. If you liked the first two, this is just a few notes added to the same, inevitable song. I'll wager that within the next 18 months, we'll see 'The Grudge 4: Still Pissed'
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