The Grudge (15)
Time Out says
Two years after the success of Gore Verbinski’s ‘The Ring’, here’s another cash-in on a profitable Japanese horror franchise – one that sticks with the series’ original Japanese director and Tokyo setting while introducing an American cast (including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Bill Pullman). The premise of this high-gloss, low-resolution remake simply transcribes the standard haunted-house exegesis of Shimizu’s ‘Ju-on’: ‘When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage, a curse is born.’ We presume such a deathly birth has occurred in the abode where a brother-sister pair of American transplants install their mother, who suffers from early-stage dementia but appears instantly attuned to the creakings and rattlings that waft from the walls and ceilings…
As he did in ‘Ju-on’, Shimizu builds his film out of chronologically jumbled set pieces that each proceed by an alternating pattern of tense lulls and pay-off jolts. The overdetermined approach preempts the character shadings or social subtext that Japanese horror maestro Hideo Nakata prizes, while the soundtrack’s Dolby thumps and screaming violins head off any genuine scares.