USA Today - 10/22/2004
"THE GRUDGE varies the program some by occasionally getting its apparitions out of the central digs to make mischief elsewhere."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2004
"[Gellar] is surprisingly good as a harrowed heroine..."
Uncut - 12/01/2004
"[M]ostly it's just Raimi and Shimizu gleefully delivering the B-movie basics: sudden jumps, shocks, bangs, screams, eye-poppers and gore shots, and at a rate that's thick and fast enough to satisfy the most jaded horror fan."
Ultimate DVD - 10/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "Shimizu retains the Tokyo setting and most of the spooky details..."
A remake of the Japanese horror hit JU-ON (widely considered to be one of the scariest movies ever made), THE GRUDGE is helmed by its original director Takeshi Shimizu. Like its predecessor, this Hollywood version of the film takes place in Tokyo, but most of the main characters are American, including Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER), a young social worker, and her peers. When Karen enters a seemingly abandoned home to look after a mentally disturbed resident, she soon discovers that there's an evil--and very aggressive--presence in the house, and it's lashing out at every person that sets foot inside.
Having directed both the original JU-ON and its sequel in Japan, Shimizu was very familiar with his own tale of terror by the time he directed its 2004 incarnation. Using many of the key actors from the previous films (including Takako Fuji and Yuya Ozeki who have unforgettable roles), Shimizu recreates the story with the added advantage of a Hollywood budget (acquired with the help of producer Sam Raimi of SPIDER-MAN fame, who is also a noted horror-movie director). As with many Japanese horror films (particularly the original RING, which strongly influences this movie), THE GRUDGE relies on atmosphere over plot, resulting a series of utterly chilling moments that will leave viewers fascinated and unbelievely frightened.