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It's not the scary hit thatThe Ringwas in 2002, butThe Grudgemakes a similarly convincing case for American remakes of popular Japanese horror films. Barely a year passed between the release of Takashi Shimizu's creepy ghost storyJu-On: The Grudgeand the production of this American remake, set in Tokyo and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in her first post-Buffyhorror film. About the only significant difference between the two films is the importing of a mostly-American cast (including Bill Pullman, Clea DuVall and Grace Zabriskie), butThe Grudgewas reconfigured (by screenwriter Stephen Susco) to allow Shimizu to refine and improve the spookiest highlights of his earlier version, which enjoyed previous incarnations as a short film and two made-for-Japanese-video features. Surprising box-office analysts with a $40 million opening weekend,The Grudgemay disappoint hard-core horror fans because it lacks gore and graphic violence, but as a creepy tale about averyhaunted house, it's guaranteed to send a few chills up your spine.--Jeff Shannon
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CastJason Behr, Bill Pullman, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Clea Duvall, Ryo Ishibashi, Grace Zabriskie, William Mapother, Ted Raimi, KaDee Strickland, Rosa Blasi
DirectorTakashi Shimizu
Genre:  Horror
Release Date:  22 October 2004 (USA)
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Screen WriterTakashi Shimizu, Stephen Susco
Runtime:  92 min
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