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The Grudge

Year: 2003
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Takashi Shimizu
The genre (or institution) of Japanese horror is fast becoming a cultural and commercial force in movies.

Like The Ring, The Grudge is already being remade by Hollywood, and the signs are strong that it'll be a case of a great idea they make their own.

While The Grudge was very similar to The Ring in many respects, it was a bit confusing and would probably benefit from a few repeat viewings (or a chart of how the characters are related).

But the sense of creeping terror is there, the sense that anything can (and does) happen - examples like the girl crawling out of the TV set in The Ring and the hand on the back of the head in the shower scene (one of the creepier shots from the trailer of the remake) are classic cases in point.

It starts with a young social worker who goes to a house inhabited by an old lady. In an upstairs bedroom wardrobe, which as been sealed with duct tape, she finds a cat and a little boy.

Alluding to a murder committed in the house years before, a disparate cast of characters come into the fray - all of their stories told in chapters named after them - including the current occupants, the sister of one of them, the social worker, a schoolgirl (in the most seemingly unrelated chapter) and the detectives looking into the case.

It seems to be about a curse of some kind that can be passed from person to person or is able to affect people who had something to do with the house, and while the plot was hard to follow as a whole, it was classic new age Japanese terror - crawling, tense, and scary as hell.

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