The Grudge

 
Grisly ghost story lacks plot; not for tweens.
  • Review Date: January 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

What parents need to know

Violence

Frequent intense peril and violence, suicide, characters killed, many grisly and disgusting images.

Sex

Non-explicit sexual situation.

Language

Brief strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a very scary movie with a great deal of tension, many jump-out-at-you surprises, graphic violence, and frequent grisly and disgusting images, including graphic wounds, suicide, dead bodies and pieces of dead bodies. Characters also drink and smoke and use strong language.

What's the story?

An American exchange student (Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen) in Japan is sent out as a substitute for the caregiver of a woman suffering from some dementia. The woman is an American, living with her son and daughter-in-law, and with a daughter living nearby. It turns out the house was once the site of great rage and anguish, giving rise to a curse that attacks anyone who enters.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

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, or should I say who, it came from.

Indeed, the biggest problem with the film is that, like many American remakes (Wicker Park is one recent example), 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 each of us can feel personally unsettled right where we live.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the enduring appeal of ghost stories and their own views on whether strong emotions can continue to "occupy" a place. They might also want to find out more about efforts to investigate real-life reports of ghosts and curses.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 22, 2004
DVD release date:February 1, 2005
Cast:Jason Behr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, William Mapother
Director:Takashi Shimizu
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Horror
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality

This review of The Grudge was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byIronZombie75 August 26, 2009
age 11+
 

for tweens and up

Very good horror movie however this may be one of THE SCARIEST movies in history so think before leting your 9 year olds watch it. very disturbing images and theme.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byiluvtheexorcist33 November 23, 2011
age 13+
 

it was fine :\

SPOILERS!!! very confusing, i didnt know what was goin on half the time. there were some scenes that made me jump,but i jump in almost any movie (narnia,happy feet lol). A suggestion 4 a good horror movie is the exorcist or the shining ( they're my favs).But there wasn't really anything wrong with this movie other than alot of the scenes the scary girl looked fake, to me anyway and that it was confusing, i didn't understand the story very much other than this girl had a crush on this guy and then her husband killed her and whenever any1 goes in the house they die, kinda like the ring i think.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 16 years old Written byScooby79 April 23, 2013
age 13+
 

It is a creepy, scary ghost movie

I watched this when I was 11 and I was terrified! The girl is very unsettling and so is the boy. The sounds she makes are disturbing! This movie is very creepy. There is a scene where you see a girl without a lower jaw. It's not bloody, but it is gross looking. My advice now your kid because depending on what kid you have this could either be another horror movie or your kids three day long nightmare.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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