Director: Takashi Shimizu
Stars: Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa, Kanji Tsuda
Respect due to Takashi Shimizu's unnecessary but nonetheless worthwhile American remake of Ju-On: The Grudge (2004), simply titled The Grudge. In the pantheon of horror re-imaginings, it's certainly better than awful Americanized redoes of Japanese films like Shutter, The Eye, and One Missed Call. But it's still inferior to Shimizu's 2002 original.
The long-black-haired female ghosts that wail loudly and slither around like humanoid snakes? You know, the supernatural film trope that's been reused and continuously abused by lazy horror filmmakers throughout the last decade? They trace back to Ju-On: The Grudge, the film that did it best. Shimizu's intricately plotted tale concerns a murdered woman's revenge that's regularly enacted inside the house where she was killed.
Ju-On: The Grudge is a quiet movie, favoring the chills induced by uncomfortable silences over cheap crash-bang-boom attempts jolts. When the scares hit, though, Shimizu doesn't play around. —MB