2 February 2016

THE GRUDGE 3. 2009. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.


THE GRUDGE 3. FROM GHOST HOUSE PICTURES. CREATED BY TAKASHI SHIMIZU. PRODUCED BY TAKASHI SHIMIZU AND SAM RAIMI. DIRECTED BY TOBY WILKINS. STARRING JOHANNA BRADDY, GIL MCKINNEY AND SHAWNEE SMITH. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE GRUDGE 2 (the American Sam Raimi version) is without a doubt my favourite film of the three English language GRUDGE movies. It tells the story of how Sarah Michelle Gellar's sister in the film, Aubrey Davis, goes to Japan from America to find out how on earth her sister Karen managed to burn down the dwelling that houses the GRUDGE when she was just supposed to be working there as a student care worker.

My favourite part of that film is the really creepy stuff going on in the American apartment building, half a world away from the GRUDGE house in Tokyo, Japan. THE GRUDGE 3 is set pretty much all within this exact same apartment building in Chicago, so it's like they took my favourite bit of the second film and made an entire third movie out of it. Nice one, guys. Much appreciated, that, haha.

In this film, told for a change in a straightforward linear fashion, as opposed to the more arseways non-linear fashion, we meet the live-in caretaker-manager of the apartment building, Max, and his two sisters. Lisa is a gorgeous wanna-be fashion designer and Rose is a sick little girl who needs constant care and supervision and expensive medical treatment.

Max is in danger of losing his job to a management company and Lisa wants to move to New York to pursue her dream of a fashion internship, but how can she leave her sick little sister and her stressed-out brother in the lurch? It's a tough one all right. Family ties and all that jazz.

Did I mention that the GRUDGE has made its way to the good old US of A, by the way? Yes, much like BABE- PIG IN THE CITY, haha. The curse of Kayako, the Japanese housewife who was brutally murdered by her hubby Takeo for a suspected infidelity, is running amok in the big city now. Well, within the confines of this grim apartment building, anyway.

Kayako's young son Toshio, who was also killed by Takeo along with the family moggy, is popping up all over the building and freaking out anyone who sees him. A foul miasma (d'you like that lovely turn of phrase, a foul miasma?) of GRUDGE- related evil is spreading throughout the building, which includes the empty apartment in which a family was previously murdered by the curse.

Why, that apartment is so foul that Lisa and her dopey boyfriend Andy can't even bring themselves to have illicit sex there, and they've had illicit sex all over the entire building. All Lisa has to do is swipe the keys from her caretaker-manager big brother Max and Bob's your uncle. Well, her uncle, I suppose.

Jake isn't happy about his little sister's slutty behaviour, but he doesn't express his unhappiness strongly enough, if you ask me. That hoity-toity miss in her skintight, nipple-showing vest top and low-slung jeans is by no means too old for a jolly good spanking, if you ask me. Tsk, tsk.

Any-hoo, the curse of Kayako entwines itself around the residents of the apartment building until it looks like only one person can put an end to this filthy GRUDGE once and for all. Who is this person, and what is their connection to the doomed Sakei family?

And is it too late for one of the little family of three who are desperately trying to hold things together? Is one of the caretaker-manager's family showing signs of being possessed by one of the Sakeis...? And will I ever stop asking rhetorical questions that you know I'm not gonna answer? God only knows, haha.

Though this is perhaps not as good a film as the second one (did I mention that that's my favourite?), the shocks still come thick and fast and there are one or two really good scary deaths in it. Also, there are definite shades of AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION and Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING in the excellent possession scenes towards the end of the film.

There's a nice little shock at the end, too. Oh, and the actress Shawnee Smith from the SAW films plays a shrink in this one, if you're a fan of hers or of the films.

This entire trilogy is well worth checking out. No, it's not the original Japanese series of films
(some people don't care for them for exactly this reason) but these three movies actually help to explain things a good bit more and they're terrifically good fun as well. The one thing I didn't like about 'em was Sarah Michelle Gellar, aka BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, playing a student care worker, of all things. Thank God she doesn't make it as far as- Ooops. I've said too much. Enjoy, horror fans. These films are top-notch stuff.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can contact her at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com








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