It never forgives. It never forgets.
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. --Jeff Shannon