The Grudge 2 – Rating 1 out of 5

The Grudge 2 – Rating 1 out of 5

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

“In Tokyo, a young woman (Tamblyn) is exposed to the same mysterious curse that afflicted her sister (Gellar). The supernatural force, which fills a person with rage before spreading to its next victim, brings together a group of previously unrelated people who attempt to unlock its secret to save their lives.”

Another completely confusing and poorly acted edition in the J-Horror genre. In this sequel the sister Aubrey goes to Tokyo to determine what caused her sister to go crazy and try to set a house on fire. What ensues is a complete rehash of the first story in the same mindless vain as the first one.

There are no shocking moment, no feelings of fear or dread, no suspense or even that moment when you think something is about to go wrong. The movie is boring and uninspired. The highlight is watching Sarah Michelle Gellar jump out the window. Other than that, the movie isn’t worth watching. The movie goes nowhere, doesn’t advance the story and when we hit the end there is no sense of accomplishment.

This is a waste of film and just like the first Grudge movie isn’t worth watching unless there is nothing else you can get your hands on.

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The Grudge – Rating 2 out of 5

The Grudge – Rating 2 out of 5

“It’s not the scary hit that The Ring was in 2002, but The Grudge makes 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 story Ju-On: The Grudge and the production of this American remake, set in Tokyo and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in her first post-Buffy horror 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), but The Grudge was 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 Grudge may disappoint hard-core horror fans because it lacks gore and graphic violence, but as a creepy tale about a very haunted house, it’s guaranteed to send a few chills up your spine.”

This movie was crap right from the beginning. Putting Sarah Michelle Gellar in this movie was the first mistake. She seems so out of place it’s ridiculous. With every turn you expect Scooby and Shaggy to come busting into the room or someone from the set of Buffy to appear. If only she would ninja kick the crap out of someone it would have made the movie worthwhile.

Basically there is a house which has had a terrible incident occur and that incident has left a stain. Now, anyone who enters the house suffers the wrath. And the rest of the movie is about as exciting as that description. This movie is boring, it lacks any coherent plot, Gellar acts like a zombie through the whole thing and there is no sense of dread at all.

There is the ploy of the dark and the creepy noises to try and make something out of nothing, but in the end, there is just nothing.

Again, the original Ju-On is fair better than the Americanized version. This is one to skip unless you have run out of movies to watch.

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From Hell – Rating 3 out of 5

"It is 1888 in London, and the unfortunate poor lead horrifying lives in the city’s deadliest slum, Whitechapel. Harassed by gangs and forced to walk the streets for a living, Mary Kelly and her small group of companions trudge on through this daily misery, their only consolation being that things can’t get any worse. Yet things somehow do when their friend Ann is kidnapped and they are drawn into a conspiracy with links higher up than they could possibly imagine. The kidnapping is soon followed by the gruesome murder of another woman, Polly, and it becomes apparent that they are being hunted down, one by one. Sinister even by Whitechapel standards, the murder grabs the attention of Inspector Fred Abberline, a brilliant yet troubled man whose police work is often aided by his psychic abilities. Abberline becomes deeply involved with the case, which takes on personal meaning to him when he and Mary begin to fall in love. But as he gets closer to the truth Whitechapel becomes more and more dangerous for Abberline, Mary, and the other girls. Whoever is responsible for the grisly acts is not going to give up his secret without a fight….will they be able to survive the avenging force that has been sent after them from hell?"

A dark tale of a cover-up regarding an illegitimate marriage and a royal scandal that all centers around a group of prostitutes who are witness to the deeds. And who do you get to come to your aid when you are high society and want to keep things discreet? That’s right, the Mason’s.

An interesting theory on the murders of Jack the Ripper. Johnny Depp plays Inspector Abberline who spends a great deal of the movie in the opium dens and drinking Absinthe. Perhaps he’s looking for clues in the spirit world…

Some gruesome scenes and some interesting medical practices going on during this time in history. Abberline tries to get to the bottom of the murders while others are simply trying to wash them away. Abberline is still trying to do his job even though the victims are just prostitutes. And though his closeness be begins to fall for Mary and wants to get her out of this life and keep her away from the Ripper.

It’s a fitting atmosphere for the film, being dark and dirty as Whitechapel would have been. Is the film conjecture or does it have any root in the facts? It’s hard to say, but it certainly makes for an interesting story. It’s dark and it’s dirty and it kinda bloody, but overall it’s probably one you’ll watch more than once.

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Secret Window – Rating 3 out of 5

Secret Window – Rating 3 out of 5

“Johnny Depp gets high off another acting challenge in this tricky adaptation of a Stephen King yarn. Although the mood is too sinister to allow for the mischief of his Pirates of the Caribbean turn, Depp still manages to embroider his role here with plenty of quirky business. He plays a writer, depressed and nearly divorced, who’s stuck in an isolated cabin (shades of The Shining) when a stranger (John Turturro) arrives, accusing him of plagiarism. Writer-director David Koepp (Stir of Echoes) does his best to make the rickety material compelling–he gets the maximum out of the cabin set, for instance–but the problems inherent in the King story eventually win out. The climactic scenes are particularly unpleasant, especially in contrast to the cleverness of Depp’s performance. A Philip Glass score adds class, but this one ultimately feels like a disappointment.”

There is plenty to like about this movie and the main part is Johnny Depp. He plays a writer who is on the verge of divorce and gets away from it all to try and work on his next great work. He seems to be having some trouble finding his muse since he spends plenty of time sleeping on the couch.

Depp plays the part of the disheveled and disorganized writer quite well. But as he shuns showering as he communes with nature he gets a strange visitor who claims Mr. Rainey (Depp) has stolen his story. He wants payback for having his story ideas taken away and used for profit. Rainey denies the claim and shrugs off the visits. Soon, Mr. Shooter becomes more forceful with his demands and explains he will get to the truth and expose Rainey. Rainey says he can prove the story is his and tries to dig up an old magazine with the original story.

Evil deeds begin to happen as Shooter tries to force Rainey to confess, dog’s die, people around him die and his divorce really goes off the rails.

Johnny Depp does a great job of being creepy. Like I said, perhaps the lack of showering enhances the image. The movie is a little quirky and has some plot holes, but if you play along it’s a fun movie. There is no great mystery to be solved here or some deep meaning to undercover, everything is pretty straight forward.

There blood and gore are kept pretty light which is good since we are dealing with a psychological thriller. It works pretty well and it’s a fun little yarn. The ending is a little overly cheesy but you go with what you have.

Not a bad adaptation from Stephen King, but since this is one of at least three movies about writer’s stuck in isolation (The Shining, 1408 and this, it might be time to pick a new theme. We all get it, don’t go out into the middle of nowhere and write a novel, that’s how people get hurt…)

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