Reviewbr> "No! She's here! Let me out, she's here!" - Jake
The last survivor of the Apartment house that dripped blood due to the Grudge is in an institution for the insane under the care of Dr Sullivan. Jake is absolutely terrified that Kayako is after him and begs not to be left alone, which proves to be justified as our current favourite revenant makes the scene and proceeds to break every bone in his body. Dramatic start to the movie and we then move onto the infamous Chicago apartment building where Max, the superintendant, is trying to make ends meet while caring for his sick little sister Rose and trying to ensure his other sister Lisa doesn't bonk her way through every apartment in the building. Naturally tenants are few on the ground due to the effects of Kayako and Toshio, though the cat was strangely missing this time round.
Help might be at hand in the form of Kayako's sister Naoko who has a method of containing the rage, though it has to be admitted Japanese exorcism methods are fairly extreme. Max is showing some signs of stress, pretty much similar to Kayako's husband's rage, which doesn't bode well for Lisa and Rose. With a rising death toll, Japanese exorcisms to go down, and more pressure being applied to Max than he can cope with, things head into a couple of well conceived twists. Let's get our Curse on and re-visit the Apartment building of pure evil.
Surprisingly, for this franchise, the movie is presented in linear format without the time jumps, apparently random characters, and other Japanese tricks to put the viewer on edge. We find out about Naoko, get more details on Kayako's childhood, stop in with Jake, before hitting that Apartment for pretty much the entire rest of the movie. It's tightly focused, though fairly obvious which characters are going to fall under the clutches of our revenant tag team. While the primary point of focus is Lisa, and to a lesser extent Max and Rose, that's no guarantee the characters are going to make it the final credits, this being a Grudge movie. Expect a couple of shock twists toward the end, and the very real possibility of further sequels in coming years. Though given this one was straight to DVD the longevity of the franchise is in no way guaranteed, so we might just end up with a trilogy.
Besides the linear path Grudge 3 takes we are still in franchise mode, there's no deviation from the revenant path here folks. Kayako and Toshio, while waiting for the cat to get out of quarantine are up to their old tricks of making the lives of everyone who comes into contact with them a living hell, well until they die. The link to the previous movie is tenuous, the curse is apparently on the building or something, shouldn't that link have been broken with the death of the final school girl in Part 2? Though this time round there is a method of breaking the curse and containing the anger it generates, pity about the sacrifice involved. So if going into Grudge 3 expecting the thrills and chills of the preceding movies then Director Toby Wilkins has your back, or maybe that's Kayako, I don't know.
Simply put this movie works as a haunted house fable, if you approach in this fashion it works like a brought one
I surprisingly missed this movie, love me some Grudge or Ju-On, and had it confused with the second film in the series. So when I hit it there was quite some time since I had seen the previous releases in the franchise. This actually worked for The Grudge 3 as I didn't come into the movie with that many preconceived notions of what I was about to see, hence jived to the chills and thrills being sent my way. Got to say a kid shrieking like a cat, a pasty white chick rasping and moving in mysterious freaky ways, and a dude clearly becoming possessed by something really worked for me in a serious way. If they want to make a fourth movie then I'm there, J-Horror concepts never get old for mine though I can understand those being brought up on a limited diet of Boredwood veneer might have problems with foreign sensibilities.
Director Toby Wilkins goes with one hell of a chilling atmosphere throughout the movie. Note the lack of colour, general washed out look, and depressive feeling that pervades every frame. The main set, the apartment building, is forever in a state of decay and repair with plastic drop clothes everywhere, walls that need a lick of paint, and a general grunge look. We're talking a pretty nihilistic take on things that doesn't improve from first frame to last frame, don't go into this one if suffering from depression. At its heart Wilkins has created a haunted house movie, mixed in the Japanese aesthetics required by the franchise, but spun in some Western requirements. I found the best approach to the movie was to view it as simply a haunting and deal with the Japanese variations as they arise, rather than getting caught up in comparing the movie to the previous two in the franchise.
While the movie could perhaps be criticised for throwing on a tad too many minor characters that are just there to be cannon fodder for Kayako and Toshio, each of the secondary characters were well conceived, at no point will you be left wondering who is who. About the only character inclusion I would really question was that of Dr Sullivan, who at best provides a link between Jake, events going down at the Apartment building, and Max's crew. Of course the character just might be included to ensure Shawnee Smith's (Saw franchise) name was prominently displayed.
So we have a half decent plot, ultimately evil must be defeatable to add some goals to dark genre movies, enough chills and thrills to power a dozen teen horror flicks, and acting that is actually very respectable for a straight to DVD movie. To be honest I'm not after much more from a revenant flick that seeks to sneak under my skin. Perhaps a tad too much of "seen it before got the tee" for a lot of viewers but I enjoyed the new directions the fillum took the franchise in.
Gorehounds are going to be sadly disappointed with this movie, from memory a blade through the throat was the most blood drenched it became, and T&A really isn't going to be how this movie makes its name. So expecting the usual adornments to an adult orientated horror flick, then you are in the wrong place.
Sean McMahon caught me out with his score. While for the most part it was simply background noise, when McMahon really cranked it up he had the atmosphere turning thick and deadly. Don't at any stage get comfortable with the soundscape folks, you're going to be caught with your knickers down if you do.
The Grudge 3 percolated up to the top of the review pile via a three movie box set, with the third movie being the only one we hadn't reviewed up to this stage. I was quite happy to grab this one, and got what I didn't expect, a third movie in a franchise that could hold its head up high in polite company. Director Toby Wilkins threw a traditional revenant tale in my direction, and I was glad he did, this movie is one of the more underrated horror efforts out there. If you enjoyed ghosts with 'tudes then this movie is for you, get ready for the chills, well above average effort.