Movie Number- 116
October Horrorthon Number- 4
Title- The Grudge 3 (2009)
Running Time- 90 minutes
Director- Toby Wilkins
Writer- Brad Keene
Starring- Johanna Brady, Gil McKinney, Jadie-Rose Hobson, Shawnee Smith

After the events of The Grudge 2, the curse is now residing in a Chicago apartment complex, and the only survivor from the second movie – Jake (Matthew Knight) – is monitered by Dr. Sullivan (Shawnee Smith) in a psychiatric hospital because he has witnessed his entire family being murdered by this evil spirit.  Now, though, no one in the apartment complex is safe.  Max (Gil McKinney), the manager of the hotel, is trying to save his fleeting job by bringing in more clients after the gruesome deaths of The Grudge 2.  He lives in the apartment complex with his two sisters Lisa (Johanna Brady) and Rose (Jadie-Rose Hobson).  They are now in contact with this evil curse, and, like the first two films, they try to beat the curse.

There are so many problems with The Grudge 3 that it is difficult to pick a place to start.  The biggest problem, though, has to be the glaring plot holes, and boring story.  For example, the youngest sister in the movie has a heart condition that is set off at one point in the movie, but then forgotten until it is convenient for the writer to plop it back in for no good reason.  Another major point is the casting: if you can’t get the same boy and girl to play the evil spirits, at least get someone that looks similar.  The boy in the movie looks to be around 12-13, whereas in the first two films he is around 7-8.  This is a huge problem when the actor is playing a dead, un-aging child.  These two qualms, mixed with minor other things (like magically unlocking doors, and plot points that simply made no sense to the film series), The Grudge 3 left me bored.

Like the first two movies, The Grudge 3 suffers from slow pacing, but it’s almost justified in this one because it actually tries to build up the audience’s compassion for the family involved.  It succeeds on that front, but only because it uses a sick little girl, and the “our parents are dead so I have to take care of my sister(s)” card.  The acting was mediocre at best, and the best actor in the movie had to be Jadie-Rose Hobson, the 8-year old girl.  Shawnee Smith was a big disappointment as well; she is a fine actress in the SAW series, but there was something missing from her performance here.  This tells me that the problem was more likely in the script than with the actors.  There were so many plot problems, and continuity errors that I am tempted to put up a YouTube video in the vain of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

It is difficult to get into specific reasons I hated this film without giving spoilers, but know that the plot is holey, the acting is B-level, the director’s choices are questionable at best, and the ending is absolutely nonsensical.  The Grudge 3 has earned the esteemed title of the worst film in a bad horror series.  Don’t waste any time with The Grudge 3, or the rest of the series.  Instead, check out the original Ju-On, or the Ringu series.

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Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.