Alright after seeing this movie twice I feel that I should at least make an effort at writing it up. But I must admit upon the first screening I was rather under the influence and found it much more entertaining. Anyways, here goes:
The equation for the movie: take two parts The Ring and add it to one part of the Exorcist. Then mix in half a part of Lost In Translation and stir. Tada! you have The Grudge.
This movie definitely milks the Japanese scare tactics used first in Ringu then the Americanized version, The Ring. The basic formula in all these movies is to take a skinny boy/girl that has died, make them live again, only this time with long stringy hair and really dark grey/black faces, and bright white eyes. Make them move in jerks and spasms, and usually have them scarred with blood and soaked in water. Make them appear when the music gets most intense and always have them moving toward the main character of the scene. The Grudge uses these tactics in conjunction with Exorcist-like flashes throughout to invoke the same shock value as its predecessors.
This is one of those "Oh damn son, don't go in there! Oh you ho, you went in there, now look what happened, you dead. WTF did you expect fool?" type of movies. Yet even though you may know exactly what's coming you still can let yourself get sucked into it and get the crap scared out of you by what happens. And as I mentioned before, upon my first visit I had shared a 24 pack of PBR and took a few bong hits with a group of friends, so I wasn't exactly able to point out the downfalls in the plot, I was too enveloped in the present moment. So, not to promote either drinking or smoking, but I did enjoy the movie much more so while intoxicated, but that's just me. Also, friends to hang onto are always a good idea during scary movies, so I recommend having them around. To conclude, scare factor first time was 9 out of 10 scares, while the second time (sober) 6 of 10.
Although the story is fairly weak and inconclusive, I'll at least attempt a synopsis.
Attention all passengers, please fasten your seatbelts and prepare for spoilers.
So we start off with a suicide and then a death, it's up to you to find out why. You are then introduced to the protagonist, an American student studying abroad in Japan, Karen, and her boyfriend Doug. We find that she is working at an assisted living facility and receives her very first solo assignment, to check in on Emma, a sleep-deprived catatonic, with a continual look of fear on her face. We soon find out why. There is an evil spirit about the house which causes those in it to die by various variations at the hands of a dead boy and girl (see above).
We are then sent into a flashback in which we are introduced to Emma's family as they are purchasing the house, it is clearly evident that it's haunted, but they buy it anyways (see this). They all die at the hands of the two demonic entities in scary ways. Skipping ahead to the important stuff, we have a scene in which a Karen and a detective are speaking about the house, the detective says that the house has evil living in it due to the rage induced deaths. He goes to burn the house down, because it seems to be the only way now. But before he lights the gasoline he hears a sound coming from upstairs and goes to investigates, what could it be you ask? well its those goddam evil things at it again! He dies. So, finally we have Doug going to the house because he finds Karen's research and thinks she is there. Karen gets a message from Doug and goes to the house as well, but when she arrives she finds the man who committed suicide at the very beginning of the movie, he can't see her, however, because he’s dead, errr something (???). We find out that he has come to the house because he is getting numerous letters from its occupant, apparently an older student of his (ohhhh, it's a flashback, but how is Karen there? Again I give you this). He stumbles upon a shrine in tribute to himself, and we realize that the woman has been killed, so the pieces start to fit together. REVALATION! Married woman has obsession with American professor, her husband finds out and kills her and their son, then himself. Professor comes, finds all dead, goes and commits suicide. Dead woman and son haunt house, killing all who enter. So we return to find Karen, who finds Doug, so scared that he can't move, but instead of fleeing the house she tries to drag him out. The killer duo strikes again, but before they can devour Karen she lights the gasoline brought previously by the detective. You think it’s all over as the house bursts into flame.
Wrong. We arrive at the morgue where there is only one dead body, KAREN IS ALIVE. She goes to look at the face of the body on the table, alone. But before we can find out and get this all behind us we see the camera rotate to see that there is someone standing back-to-back with her, the camera swerves as both heads turn towards each other, IT’S THE DEAD WOMAN! Final scare, the movie's over.
So if you are looking for a mildly entertaining movie to go see and don’t want anything too conclusive or thought provoking, I recommend The Grudge, and go with friends, it makes it a whole lot better, trust me.
I’m not going to bother reposting info from IMDB, so I’ll just recommend going here: