In an effort to distill the same horrific imagery, Takashi Shimizu directs this remake of his own film. Besides the script (written by Stephen Susco), which incorporates an American family deathly affected by residual hauntings in their Japanese home, there is obvious effort to keep the production close to the original. Susco streamlines the source material by excising extraneous chapters. Instead closely following the family and delving deeper into the home's initial tragedies. Shimizu continues to be just as inventive in creating modern scenes of suspense as he was in the Ju-On series. The Grudge benefits from a larger budget with improved SFX, an exclusively built set and stronger actors (such as Grace Zabriskie, Bill Pullman, and Ryo Ishibashi). Some may argue this is a watered-down version, but for a nationwide theatrical release this is a fantastic representation of the story.
3½ balcony swan dives out 5