Saturday, April 16, 2011

Forgotten Sequels: The Grudge 3

Don't take it personally now!  After two films in the series, it's only natural that The Grudge would become a Direct-to-DVD fare.  For those of you who don't know, here's the basic plot.  Long ago, some people died with anger in their hearts and came back as ghosts that killed random people.  No, really.  I guess it makes more sense in Japanese.  Basically, the film series consists of two Japanese films and then two remakes of said films.  This film, however, is brand new territory.  I totally trust this film, especially considering that it's the only one in the series NOT Directed by Takashi Shimizu & written by a guy with only two other credits- both of which are After Dark Horror Fest films.  Oh yeah, the chick from Saw is here too...just because.  Incidentally, this is a 2009 film, so be wary of SPOILERS...assuming that you care.    Let's get to the bottom of...
Over the credits, we see a Japanese man killing his wife and kid before killing himself.  Um...Chris Benoit joke, I guess.  After the credits finish, we see Shawnee Smith as a psychiatrist treating a kid who was a survivor of his family being killed.  He is afraid of 'her,' but doesn't actually explain what 'it' is.  Naturally, the people don't believe his talk of vague ghosts and it's lack of context.  By the way, something mysterious killed your whole family- they might believe you!  Shawnee leaves and the kid is killed by an unseen creature.  Yes, draw out the reveal of the creature...IN THE THIRD FILM!!!!  Seriously though, the image of the kid's CG double being killed on CC TV is kind of funny.  You know how every other film is a series of vignettes.  Well, this one isn't.  No, it's just about this family who manage an apartment building, which is open despite a family being murdered there.  Hello, plot convenience.  Good-bye, logic!
Basically, the evil spirit is loose in the building, some guy came there in the second film.  If the logic is that it can't leave the building due to the curse, then why does 'she' go to the Hospital to kill the kid and later to kill someone else?  It just seems like a plot hole, is all.  In addition to our heroes- a young guy, his teen sister and their younger sister- we also have a Japanese woman who moves into their building to deal with the spirit.  This doesn't stop it from killing a bunch of people, including an older lady we saw for one scene (where they totally steal the visual from The Ring- see above) and the young guy's boss.  Say good-bye to Shawnee, as she is killed after a lame chase-stop-chase scene.  Damn you, doors that I should be very familiar with when you consider that I have worked here for years!  My favorite part though: a bit where the sister comes across the pale-white ghost of a little kid that is only wearing a pair of tiny shorts.  She doesn't think that this is weird until she talks to Shawnee at the kid from the beginning's funeral.  Really- nothing about that was weird?!?
Things take a turn for the worse- even by comparison- when more people start dying.  The Japanese lady- whose husband is so important that he appears for one scene in the beginning- tells the girl about the Ju-on curse, but she doesn't buy it.  It's around this time that the brother starts to act mean and bitchy.  Stop me if you've heard this premise before- a caretaker of a building starts to go crazy and attacks his family.  Yeah, it's The freaking Shining!  The Japanese lady explains that the whole thing wasn't entirely the dad's fault.  I mean, he did commit the murder and all, but the source of this goes back to a sillier and even less responsible action.  You see, the mother was a priestess who took evil out of people in the form of their blood...which she gave to her youngest daughter!  I can't see how that could turn out badly!  They try to do the same ceremony, only with putting the blood in the little girl.  The brother attacks, killing the Japanese girl when she fails the simple task of walking backwards.  The little girl completes the ceremony, vanquishing the Ju-on...right before the new one appears.  When she did take part in the ceremony, by the way?  She kills the brother and, in the aftermath, we see that the little girl is now some other spirit, I guess.  The End.
I still hold this against you!  The plot of this movie is just silly.  Then again, when you take the Creator away from the thing for the first time ever, what do you expect?  The whole thing just feels like an awkward step-child that really wants to be part of the series.  Make no sense- check.  A simple plot that still has holes in it- check.  A film that abandons the narrative structure of the series- big check!  The movie has some decent scares in it, but the film just feels cheap.  Kudos to them for actually connecting it to the series.  Of course, by doing so, it makes the plot holes and confusion stand out even more.  As a whole, this is not a terrible film.  Does it work as a Horror Film?  I guess so.  Does it stand up to the rest of the series?  No.  You can do worse, but you can also do better.  I mean, there are four other films in the series...
Up next, we begin Killers of the Sea Week.  The first movie on the block- a film about revenge, murder and the world's smartest whale.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I had high hopes for this after I've seen director Wilkins' entertaining 'Splinter' - sadly Grudge 3 turned out to be a lame and completely unnecessary sequel.

    Great review btw