Grudge SE, The
Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is an exchange student in Japan. While she studies, she also works as a home nurse. When she’s sent to the house of Emma Williams to replace a colleague that didn’t show up at work, she finds the woman doesn’t do much else than laying in bed. However, when she finds a little boy in the house, it becomes clear that something is very wrong and little later she notices that there’s another presence in the house as well.
A couple of hours afterwards, the police arrives as her employer was getting worried and they find Karen completely in shock. In the attic, the bodies of the owners are found and also Emma is dead. When Karen wakes up in the hospital, she doesn’t remember what happened, but she starts looking into the history of the house and learns that there’s a curse that kills anyone who comes into contact with it…
Sound and Vision:
There’s some minor grain and edge enhancement present but for the rest we can applaud Dutch Filmworks again with delivering excellent image quality. There are a lot of dark scenes, but the good contrast and perfect level of black make sure it’s easy to follow what’s going on. Only strange thing is that we get an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 while the original format is 1.85:1
The sound is equally great. During the slower scenes, the focus is more towards the front speakers, but when the action comes into place, all registers are pulled out open and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the action. Great work!
– Behind the Scenes: some footage
– Film Clips: some scenes from the movie. No idea why these are present and counted as “extra”
– Interviews: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Takashi Shimizu and producent Sam Raimi talk about how great it was to make this movie
– Foto Gallery
– Soundbites: quick answers from the cast on questions you don’t get to hear
– TV spots and trailers
If there’s one thing Japanese directors do well, it’s making scary movies.
The Grudge is a remake of the Japanese movie by Takashi Shimizu called Ju-On but unlike with The Ring, the American remake is also created by the original director and it shows. While The Ring is a flattened version of the original with some fancy pancy added effects, The Grudge perfectly creates a creepy atmosphere that will have you sitting at the edge of your chair. Ok, it’s clear that the director got a lot of his inspiration from The Ring (Ringu), but it doesn’t matter as The Grudge lifts the concept to the next level. Not in a storytelling way, but more in an atmospheric way.
On the technical side, Dutch Filmworks does a great job with the image & sound but as we’ve seen before, the extras aren’t really so great, sadly enough. The audio commentary track from the Region1 version with Sam Raimi and Sarah Michelle Gellar is very much missing as well. Last up I would like to express my disappointment that we get the original PG13 version which was released at the movies and not the R-rated version that was also created and probably contains a lot more gore. I think those in Europe that are in for this type of movies would have appreciated that. Maybe Dutch Filmworks will release a Director’s Cut version later on?