The Grudge 3


Now available on DVD


Gil McKinney as Max

Matthew Knight as Jake

Shawnee Smith as Sulivan

Aiko Horiuchi as Kayako

Johanna E. Braddy as Lisa

Marina Sirtis as Gretchen

Directed by Toby Wilkins


I begin this review with this fact about myself: I hate little blue kids.

No, not in a racist way (are there blue kids out there?) and not in a lack of oxygen way. In a horror way. I guess the main reason being that the Scary Movie franchise pretty much ruined them for me. Hard to take anything seriously after you’ve seen three films basically cut the scary factor off at the knees.

Yet, the geniuses in Hollywood think that they can continue to be clever and find new ways to use them in movies. Thus, we have the straight-to-DVD The Grudge 3. Guess that same Hollywood didn’t think that anyone would go see blue kids jumping out of corners and from walls a third time in the theaters but they’d sit through it at home.

In any event, the curse moves outside of Japan this time and into the heartland of America, where the lone survivor from The Grudge 3, is now back in Chicago and in a mental ward because he believes that little blue kids are trying to get him. And he’s right as in the first scene he meets his demise in typical Grudge fashion.

Of course, there is no rhyme or reason as to why the curse gets attached to one person or the next. But it does. It doesn’t seem to discriminate between good people, bad people or just any person in general. If you are in the vicinity of the curse, you get it. Much like the flu.

This is in stark contrast to the original film from Japan and even the U.S. counterpart that took place primarily in one residence where crimes against a mother and son were committed – and thus anyone that moved in was subject to these little blue people running around and killing you. Obviously, it moved out of the house in the second film.

In The Grudge 3, it doesn’t matter either. A mental ward, a car, a hospital room and an apartment complex is all fair game for the ghosts that act just the same as they do in the Scary Movie franchises by creeping along with discontorted limbs, acting all stupid and totally unscary.

They also seem to pop up in the most odd places. Behind a little girl’s dollhouse, under some sheets of plastic, ogling at someone taking a shower or just crawling down a hallway for no reason at all. All too much hilarity. I couldn’t stop laughing each time I saw them, again a victim of seeing them parodied one too many times. Given this was a serious film and made to scare you rather than make you laugh. That’s not a good thing.

The ending is as dull as the rest as we are given no answers, no new information or no explanation as to why (for example) the apartment manager goes about on a killing spree taking out a number of residents. Was he possessed by the Grudge? Did he just lose it because he saw one too many blue kids? We don’t know and we aren’t presented with any answers. Given that he’s dispatched later by the same blue kids it makes you think he was not at all possessed and just went batshit crazy but again I’m only guessing at this point.

There is also some talk about bringing the curse to an end but it never fully develops and they even introduce a new little blue kid at the end … why? Hell, why not.

It is a shame too because I was actually hoping this would be fairly different and much better than the previous two installments given that director Toby Wilkins recently directed Splinter, an excellent monster/parasite movie and that Marina Sirtis and Shawnee Smith were co-starring. However, both Sirtis and Smith are wasted in the film and Wilkins shows none of the uniqueness he did in Splinter.


The deleted scenes are pretty much useless given how bad the film is and given there are only four scenes there isn’t a lot here that fills in any blanks we might be searching for.

The “Tokyagoaria” featurette examines the locations where The Grudge 3 was filmed in such as Bulgaria and Japan. It also is a behind-the-scenes look at how they built an entire set of the apartment from scratch – which is pretty cool – in order to get it to look exactly like the same apartment that was the centerpiece in The Grudge 2. Some of the better moments come when they are talking about all the things that got lost in translation with the Bulgarian film crews and the lack of English anyone spoke. Director Wilkins even comments he learned how to say different lens sizes in the native tongue in order to make sure he got the right camerawork. At nine and half minutes it is a good look at the making of the film from the location and set design perspective.

“The Curse Continues” featurette focuses on keeping the film in-line with the other two and the franchise in general while trying to give the audiences a little something different. Thus, putting it in the States rather than in Japan and with almost an entire U.S. cast. They also give us some explanation into the film and why they created a new ghost and why the curse was attacking these individuals in the film.

Thanks to the two featurettes that are very good the DVD gets a bit of a higher mark but again this is only for those desperate to see little blue kids running around doing their shtick.

Box Office

Weekend: Nov. 22, 2018, Nov. 25, 2018

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