Grudge, The

Featured In Issue 141, July/August 2009

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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For mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Color With B/W Sequences
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A, B & C
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Takashi Shimizu
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Don't step one foot in that house or you are doomed. A murdered woman's fury haunts a house and threatens the lives of everyone who steps inside. With the house holding the secret of what had happened, Karen comes in contact with the house, and she too will become a part of The Grudge. Based on Ju-On: The Grudge, written and directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also directs this English-language remake. Some may find themselves holding a grudge against the filmmakers for this bizarre excursion. (Suzanne Hodges)

Special features include both the theatrical version (91:25) and the extended cut version (98:11); commentary with Writer Stephen Susco, Producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, and Actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, Clea Duvall, Kadee Strickland, and Ted Raimi on the theatrical cut of the film; Japanese commentary with Director Takashi Shimizu, Producer Taka Ichise, and Actress Takako Fuji with English subtitles on the extended cut of the film; 15 deleted scenes with optional Japanese commentary with English subtitles; the following featurettes: A Powerful Rage: Behind The Grudge (SD 48:06), Under The Skin (SD 12:26), The Grudge House: An Insider's Tour (SD 03:58), Sights And Sounds: The Storyboard Art Of Takashi Shimizu (SD 03:13), and Production Designer's Notebook: The Sketches Of Iwao Saito (SD 02:26); the video diaries of Sarah Michelle Gellar (SD 09:02) and Kadee Strickland (SD 13:31); the following short films: 4444444444 (SD 02:58) and In A Corner (SD 03:23); previews; and BD-Live interactivity.

The 1080p AVC picture is superior to the anamorphically enhanced DVD picture reviewed in Issue 94, with the extended version adding about seven minutes to the original theatrical version. The picture still exhibits an understated but naturally balanced color scheme, with nicely rendered fleshtones and generally deep blacks. Shadow delineation is good as well. The picture exhibits improved sharpness and detail, with facial features and clothing textures often nicely defined. Slight film grain is inherent in the source element, providing a gritty appearance that some may find excessive at times. The picture otherwise exhibits no objectionable artifacts. (Gary Reber/Suzanne Hodges)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack reveals greater depth and surround envelopment compared to the previous DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack. The soundstage is wide and deep but often collapses to monaural. On-screen effects are localized across the front soundstage, but at times are not imaged well, often drifting well wide of the screen boundaries for effect. When fully energized, the soundfield sounds holosonically® enveloping. ADR issues can be heard at times, with shifts in tonality popping up, even occasionally mid-sentence. Bass extension is powerful and deep in the .1 LFE channel and heightens the intensity of the horrific story. The soundtrack really does add an extra element of suspense to the story, though, and does a very good job of keeping the audience scared of the on- and off-screen action. (Gary Reber/Danny Richelieu)