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2 Ratings: 0.5
Horror American sequel to Takashi Shimizu's Japanese series


Tags: Movies, Horror
1 review about The GRUDGE 3

Very Routine But Pretty Decent for a "Direct-to-DVD" Popcorn Snooze

  • May 13, 2009

Woopak never learns…

Being a fan of Takashi Shimizu's "JU-ON: The Grudge" and "JU-ON: The Grudge 2", but never really liked their American remakes,  I still thought I'd check out this 2nd "Americanized" sequel since I was bored and curious. Shimizu directed the first two remakes of "Ju-On", "The Grudge 3" has a different director at the helm in the person of Toby Wilkins (Splinter). Loosely based on "Ju-On", the film does adapt the established formulas set by the first two, with a different cast and shot in Bulgaria, released by Sam Raimi's Ghost House pictures. Well, I decided to check this out since the director is the guy who gave us "Splinter" which I somewhat liked. So how does "The Grudge 3" rate? Well, it is different but also very run-of-the-mill--it is a direct to dvd popcorn snooze.

The story takes off after the events of "The Grudge 2" as Jake (Matthew Knight) is the sole survivor from those events that took his family. Jake is certain that something bad will happen in the Chicago apartment where he used to live; he tries to warn his doctor (Shawnee Smith) but she never believes his warnings. That is, until Jake is broken into two. Now, Doctor Sullivan decides to look into Jake's unexplained violent death, and goes to his former apartment building. But it seems like strange things have already began to occur as people have started dying. Max (Gil McKinney), the building's super lives with his two sisters; Lisa (Johanna Braddy) and an asthma-stricken Rose (Jadie Hobson) may already be in danger. Naoko (Emi Ikehata) is a young woman from Japan, who may be able to end this curse…but at what price?

I liked "Splinter" which is the main reason why I gave this "made for dvd" movie a look. Wilkins does display competency in generating thrills in that film, and in "The Grudge 3", his finest moment would have to be a "Mister Potato-head" very creepy approach. Forget crawl spaces that looked spooky, Mr. Potato head is one creepy gimmick. Other than this, the film is pretty routine and I thought Wilkins tried to inject some nice compositions to an otherwise simple screenplay. I guess the best way to approach this film is to look at it from other direct to dvd sequels such as "Rest Stop 2" and "Wrong Turn 2", which this film is superior. Heck, this film is even better than "The Haunting of Molly Hartley" which saw its release in theaters. Let's make up a phrase; it is so routine, but it is fabulously routine (?).

The screenplay by Brad Keene is totally disconnected from the events of "The Grudge 2" although it is linked. Jake played by Knight and Doctor Sullivan (Smith) would be expected to be the film's main characters, but the film takes its focus on Max's family. There are some pleasantly creepy moments as we witness the "Yurei" (long-haired vengeful ghost) do the familiar scary movements and the sound of a ‘clicking' and 'vibrating' throat which is an ominous sign of things to come. The timing of the scares are good, although a bit too familiar. It was curious that this time around, the cinematography is brightly lit most of the time, and doesn't have that gloomy dimly lit areas, although the make up effects of our ghosts go from good to pretty darned cheap.

I suppose the cast is pretty competent. Johanna Braddy is so charming as the lead actress, and she is quite easy in the eyes. She does show some potential as an actress despite the weaknesses of the script. Now, I don't mean to go overboard, but she is full of character (as your girl next door) that she managed to get some sympathy from me. Her supporting cast is quite decent, I liked Hobson and McKinney was acceptable. Too bad Ikehata was underused, she should've gotten more screen time. I was disappointed that the ceremony wasn't fully fleshed out, I would have enjoyed a little more groundwork.

Overall, "The Grudge 3" isn't amazing nor would it be worth as anything more than a rental. At least it wasn't as annoying as I feared it would be. There are some freaky images that may interest fans of the franchise, and for the non-veteran horror fan it can be a diversion. The script is boring and very routine, but its energy is pretty pleasant. I suppose mediocrity can be passable when compared to some real BAD movies. Better than "The Grudge 2", dare I say?

Rent it [2 Stars]

Video/Audio: 1.85 ratio anamorphic widescreen. The picture is incredibly clean and sharp. The transfer is pretty darned good. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is clear and powerful.

Dvd Cover Creepy Mr. Potato Head Pretty Johanna Braddy Psychiatric ward

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October 23, 2010
"At least it wasn't as annoying as I feared it would be.", well said man. I felt the same after watching this one. Ju-On 1 & 2 are great, the first Grudge is fun just because of Ted Raimi, 2 was ok, and this one was about the same.
October 23, 2010
this was alright for a direct to dvd...I liked Mr. Potato head LOL!
May 16, 2009
Didn't even know that there was a third film. So break it down for me. We've got how many American versions of this film (including sequels) and how many Japanese (also including sequels and/or prequels)?
May 17, 2009
Let's see there are three American re-imaginings, 2 Japanese films, and two Japanese spin-offs: "Ju-Rei". Talk about an overdone franchise.
May 14, 2009
I have no need to see this, but it does bring up the topic of Raimi's new movie coming out on the 29th. I'm dreading it. I'm such a fan of Sam's and I can just tell by looking at the tv spots that he's going to blow it big time. He never did really understand horror. He just got lucky with the EVIL DEAD movies. He had Scott Spiegel with him on the second one which is why it had a higher gore factor than the first, and it may also explain why it was goofier too since that's bound to happen when the three stooges (Sam, Bruce & Scott) get together.
May 15, 2009
I know what you mean, Karen. I am very curious as to how "Drag me to Hell" would fare, but I am keeping my expectations low. I like Raimi, but his resume may be a little uneven, after the high-budget disaster which is "Spider-man 3".
May 15, 2009
Yeah, I cringed during the opening credits for Spidey 3 when I saw the writing credits were just Sam and his brother. Writing is not their strong suit and that film had way too much going on it. PLUS he wasn't done a horror film since the mid-80s, I'm not counting ARMY OF DARKNESS here because it was a mixed bag.
May 17, 2009
I do somewhat agree. Someone told me that "Drag Me to Hell" has two cuts: PG-13 cut and a R-Rated cut. I'll probably see it in theaters if it is the R-rated but will skip it if it's PG-13. I don't mind a PG-13 film, so long as it was made as such and doesn't shortchange the audience.
May 17, 2009
I'll do my part and see it in the theater no matter what the rating is, but I suspect it'll have an R since the two DEAD flix came out unrated and ARMY actually had an R.
May 13, 2009
Great review. It's bad news when a trailer has to refer to the two prequels to get noticed!
May 14, 2009
Thanks for the read, bud!
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