22
Nov 04

The Grudge. Not

Do You SeePost a comment • 325 views

The Grudge. Not Ju:on. A film which would like us to believe that not only are ghosts nasty buggers (like the Japanese version) but in the even more unbelievable suggestion that there are so many Americans in Tokyo they have their own social services. Okay, I believe the ghost bit, but considering they barely have any social services in their homeland, why there would export some is a mystery.

Like The Ring, the American version tries to clean up a lot of the loose ends of the original, and like the Ring does so to some success. Admittedly the sweeping horror movie score does the film few favours, but comparing the pair I found the US version more narratively satisfying. The Japanese version works on the bonkers scare front, but the US version (same director mind) happily throws in as many gratuitous jumps as possible. It is resolutely old school in both its haunted house plot and laying on of the frights.

There is one nice, almost political angle, which hit me with regards the US version. The house, worst on screen since the Amityville Horror, was the scene of a multiple murder and was unsaleable until the American family came along. Having seen Gaigen houses, the only places Westerners can rent in Tokyo, it makes sense that the only places they can buy are haunted houses of HORROR.

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