27 September 2011

Clarky's Review : The Grudge

Following my review of Near Dark I wasn't expecting many positive reviews for the rest of the season from my fellow HC members. However, having read both their reviews I have to say that they are spot on. This is an, at times, effective film but ultimately it struggles to hit home (especially with a western audience in my mind).

As touched on by Fin, many Asian horror films are based upon fairy tales and folk lore which are specific to Asian culture. As a result, the story is often alien to western audiences and difficult to connect to. Ally and Fin also noted on the non-linear story, and whilst I think in certain ways this added to proceedings, it also made it difficult to follow the story at some times.

If this was told chronologically then the film would not be as interesting or hold your attention. I liked the way that the story was broken up into different parts each focussing on different characters. Some times these stories interlinked and it made you think about whereabouts you were in the grand scheme of things (although ultimately this had very little bearing on the film itself). But it did draw you into each story and focus on the various protagonists. It also allowed for a variety of scares, using Toshio and his mother, in a slightly different manner each time. So although it was the same, it also seemed fresh.

Having seen the original, which was very poor I was hoping that this would be better, however, most of the beats are quite similar (from what I remember) but I did enjoy the viewing on Thursday more, and this was primarily down to Kirsty adding some extra thrills and keeping us all on the edge of our seats. Whilst I enjoyed many of the scenes, especially the tight close up and pans, I wasn't particularly scared by the film. But having another member who was screeching and screaming like there was no tomorrow, certainly helped to raise the tension in the room.

Overall, I enjoyed the film, but its not one I would recommend to any of my other friends. It is not the scariest film of all time as proclaimed by Sam Raimi, but does have some decent scares and some tense moments. Maybe Sam was talking about one of the 5 other Ju-on films that Takashi Shimuzu appears to have directed according to his IMDB page!

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