The main problem that The Grudge 3 will have in connecting with audiences is that it has the unfortunate circumstances of following up the first two. The Grudge films are those horror films that you either love or you hate. I actually really like the first Grudge film – I still think it’s incredibly scary, with good jump scares and just a general creepiness throughout that makes you feel uneasy. Plus, I enjoyed the multiple storyline aspect of it, and the way the tale was told out of order. I didn’t really care for The Grudge 2 – it felt like one of those sequels that just had to repeat everything popular from the first without really moving the franchise forward any.
What I like most about The Grudge 3 is that it does move the franchise forward. It takes place in the US. We get more background on the bad ghosties Toshio and Kayako. We (spoiler) actually see the creation of a new Grudge, in a new location. The characters are actually pretty likeable characters. We have Jake, who’s the landlord of the apartment building from The Grudge 2. He’s living with his two sisters Lisa and Rose. There are still a couple of tenants left in the building, including Donna Troy…er, Gretchen (Marina Sertis). The kid from the Grudge 2, Max (Gil McKinney) is actually in this, and is now under the care of Dr. Sullivan, played by Saw‘s Shawnee Smith.
The direction is solid. Toby Wilkins, director of the pretty darn good film Splinter, shows that he’ll definitely be a force to be reckoned with in our beloved horror genre.
Still, the main issue with The Grudge 3 is that, despite the new setting and the great characters, we’ve seen it all before. Check out the rest of my review after the jump.
As well as Toby Wilkins’ Splinter was about keeping the creature mysterious and out of focus, The Grudge 3 makes no efforts to hide the ghosts. And I understand – we’ve seen them twice before, what would be the point in hiding them? The problem is that, unhidden and in the light of the apartment building, the ghosts just aren’t scary. The “broken bone” walk they do isn’t creepy when you watch it in bright light – their skin doesn’t look so much pale as it does painted white. I wouldn’t say there aren’t any scares in The Grudge 3, but they’re more jump scares than anything else. There are a couple of good creep scenes, but again, the focus on the ghosts, and the fact that nothing they do is different from their actions in the first, takes away a lot from the movie.
The Grudge 3 isn’t bad so much as it is a missed opportunity. Still, as a direct-to-dvd follow up to a blockbuster movie series, it fairs pretty well. It’s certainly better than part 2, even if it doesn’t hold a candle to the original. If you dug the first two, there’s plenty to like in the new one. If you didn’t think much of them, this won’t change your mind.
Paul Awesomeness Score – 6 out of 10!
The Grudge 3 comes out May 12th from Sony Pictures. Pre-order it using our Amazon link below!