A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Grudge 3 is a supernatural horror movie in which two vengeful spirits continue to wreak havoc in an apartment building. Horror movie violence and gore throughout, as well as demonic imagery. In a flashback scene, a father attacks and kills his wife and son, drowns the family cat in the tub, then hangs himself. A tween boy is attacked and killed, his bones broken and mangled, found covered in blood. Characters stabbed in the throat, killed by having their necks snapped, hit in the head with a lead pipe. Jump scares throughout. Some profanity, including "f--k." Two characters like to sneak off to have sex in vacant apartments in the building.
What's the story?
In THE GRUDGE 3, Jake is in an asylum after being the only survivor of an attack by vengeful spirits. In his cell, he begs Dr. Sullivan not to leave him alone, and when she does, he's brutally murdered by Kayako, one of the two vengeful spirits. Hearing of this news in China, Naoko believes that Kayako, her sister, is responsible, and decides to fly to Chicago to stop her and Toshio. Meanwhile, the apartment building where Jake lived is being renovated. Max lives in one of the apartments with his sister Lisa (Johanna Braddy), who is about to leave for New York with her boyfriend Andy, and Rose, a young girl who suffers from panic-triggered asthma attacks. Soon, one of the remaining tenants dies after drowning in her bathtub. Dr. Sullivan arrives at the building to investigate Jake's stories, and finds that the remaining have also seen Kayako and Toshio. Naoko moves into the apartment and tries to convince Rose what's really happening. When Max appears to have been possessed by the spirits, Naoko tries to have Lisa and Rose take part in a ritual that she says will rid the building of the evil spirits. Now, Lisa and Rose must find a way to stop Kayako and Toshio and escape the apartment building.
Is it any good?
This belongs in the pantheon of horror movie sequels that have worn out their welcome. It's one of those horror movies where it's easy to imagine attendees in the theater shouting variations of "Don't go into that apartment!" or "Just leave the building!" during every suspenseful moment. While there are attempts at giving the characters some depth by giving them either asthma or leaving dreary old Wicker Park in Chicago for the glitz and glamour of fashion design in New York, the characters are as stock as the story setup and subsequent murder spree.
The conclusion of The Grudge 3 is as unsatisfying as the rest of the movie. Its attempts at leaving the franchise open for a Grudge 4 are as trite as ending the movie with a "The End?" caption before the final credits. They go into more detail about why these spirits have the titular grudge, but it comes across as superfluous more than anything else. Overall, it's an unnecessary sequel that breaks no new ground.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about horror movies. What's the appeal? How does The Grudge 3 compare to other horror movies you've seen?
Did the violence seem necessary to the movie, or did it seem gratuitous? Why?
Why do you think Hollywood releases so many sequels? Why are they almost never as good as the original movie?
- On DVD or streaming: May 12, 2009
- Cast: Johanna Braddy, Gil McKinney, Emi Ikehata
- Director: Toby Wilkins
- Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Violence, disturbing images and some language.
- Last updated: March 12, 2020
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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.
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