There was, from our Western eyes, a Renaissance in horror coming out of Japan. Awareness about the Ring series had come to light and Dark Water was a worthy successor. As such, there was a level of expectation from The Grudge which, in hindsight, was somewhat undeserved. If anything, it just goes to show that the Japanese horror industry is just as fallible as their international brethren.
I suppose part of the disappointment with the film is in part to the level of expectation heaped upon upon it but, in all honesty, The Grudge was just a plain ordinary film. What suspense and substance there is to the film quickly evaporates with each iteration of the same event over the 90 minutes of the film.
It seems we can never get enough of angry ghosts with the need to kill the living it seems — and ones that propogate themselves in a vampiric fashion adds promise to monsters and other threats from what we can’t see in the dark. It is a shame then that we do see what is in the dark quite early and over and over again such that it not only becomes predictable but tiresome as well. There is just no suspension of disbelief as the vengeful spirits just seem too efficient and relentless in their killings with no flaws whatsoever such that we just don’t care what happens to their victims. When we see someone with a speaking role, it quickly becomes apparent that they are going to die and there is nothing they can do to get around this.
All up, The Grudge is quite a tiresome movie that has a certain novelty at the start but soon becomes one you wish was over a long time ago.