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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages.
Positive Role Models
No positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Horror movie violence and imagery. A man commits suicide by falling off a skyscraper balcony; his body is shown broken and bleeding on the pavement. Flashback scene shows a man killing his wife and child before taking his own life -- imagery from this crime shown in brief horror imagery and the appearance of the ghosts from these murders. Woman killed by having her neck snapped, head turned sideways. A ghostlike little boy pushes the hanging ghost corpse of his father as it swings back and forth. Broken lower jaw found; a ghost of a woman missing a lower jaw revealed.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Grudge is a 2004 horror movie about a house possessed by the ghosts of those killed inside it. There's horror imagery galore in this one -- enough to give sensitive viewers of any age nightmares. A murder-suicide is shown in a flashback scene in which a man drowns his son in a tub and murders his wife before hanging himself. Bodies are found in an attic. A broken lower jaw is found on the floor. However, the scariness should be counterbalanced by the clearly forced plot points in the movie: the kind so prevalent in cheesier horror movies best exemplified by that audience member in the theater who yells, "Just leave the haunted house!" Some of the characters smoke cigarettes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
THE GRUDGE is one of those "Don't go into the house" movies, a remake of a popular Japanese horror film by Takashi Shimizu, the writer/director of the original. Shimizu makes good use of shifts in time to pull us into what little story there is. The usual ghost activities (messing up the house, stalking people) are updated a little bit. These ghosts can call a cell phone and get from the lobby to the 16th floor very quickly. There are some creepy images and gotcha scares, but nothing can disguise the fact that this is just a "who gets it next and how does he get it" movie. Too much of it is familiar, though, from the mysteriously feral child to the backwards-crab-crawling guy looking horrified at some looming presence. You know if a bloody jaw with teeth shows up, eventually we're going to have to find out where it came from.
Indeed, the biggest problem with the film is that, like many American remakes, it feels it has to explain too much. We get a helpful little ghost re-enactment of the whole story. Horror movies are much more horrifying when they leave the explanation to that part of our imagination where our own deepest fears lie, so that each of us can feel personally unsettled right where we live.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate