Grudge, The (Blu-ray)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Bill Pullman, Takako Fuji, Yuya Ozeki
Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
It's really hard to believe that we're coming up on the ten year anniversary of Takashi Shimizu's oft touted horror franchise Ju-on or The Grudge as it's known here in the States. There have been two Japanese TV programs (which incidentally are still the best), two Japanese feature films, one American remake, two American sequels, two new Japanese films coming summer of 2010, and even a video game on the way. That's a lotta ghostly fun, man! Now that we're headed toward the mile-stone mark for the series Sony Home Pictures Entertainment are giving said American redux the Blu-ray treatment. Let's take a look --
To reiterate the story for you would be kind of redundant. If you haven't seen at least one of the several already available versions of this movie, I'm sorry but I've got nothing for ya.
As I've said before I'm really not too sure how I feel about the film itself. Truth be told, It was like watching the same good movie for the fifth time. Make no mistake, it is a decent film, and Shimizu does a fine job of bringing his unique horrific vision to the States. The problem is that he didn't bring anything new with him either except, of course, for a couple of wooden performances.
In terms of high-def picture quality, both versions included here (rated and unrated) just make the cut. Colors are desaturated, blacks are consistent and even though the image is pretty much artifact and noise free, there was never that wow factor of a moment. Everything seems kind of flat. Don't get me wrong -- it looks a hell of a lot better than its DVD cousin, but I think the shiny bow is slowly coming off the brand new medium package as we're getting used to things looking amazing.
Sound wise even though we get a English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround track, just like the picture it's kind of on the underwhelming side of the fence. For a movie filled with all sorts of creaking and cracking (those who have seen it know what I mean) my rear speakers seemed liked they had nothing to do. It was kind of puzzling.
For the special features Sony took everything the was already available from the theatrical and unrated releases and included them here in one happy little package. They're listed below and it should be mentioned that they're all presented in standard def with the two short films looking particularly horrible. The only Blu-ray exclusive goodie to be found anywhere is that the disc is BD Live enabled. However at press time there was no additional BD Live content available.
So there you have it. This may not be the best Blu-ray release we've ever seen but I have to admit for fans of the film this is truly an all inclusive package. Only the hi-def obsessed should double-dip for this one, DVD owners can still sit pretty.
3 out of 5
4 out of 5
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