Sarah Michelle GellarMaking "The Grudge" Scary
Thursday 12 August 2004, by Webmaster
Takashi Shimizu, director of the upcoming supernatural film The Grudge, told SCI FI Wire that he employed several techniques to heighten the horror film’s spookiness. The Grudge is a remake of Shimizu’s own Japanese hit film Ju-On and its sequel. "I think the important thing is the reality of it and how to make people scared in usual, regular circumstances," Shimizu said in an interview through an interpreter. "For the shower scene in the original one and also in the remake version, everybody takes showers, so I want to express a scary thing in that regular activity so people might think, ’Oh, this might happen to me too,’ and get scared. I think it’s really important, the reality of it, and ordinary circumstances."
Shimizu said that his background in Japan taught him that women possess a different and more evocative kind of power when on screen. As a result, he made both his hero and purported villain female characters in both the original version and the English-language remake. "Between men and women, in Japan at least, it’s still a male-dominated culture," Shimizu said. "I think that men physically are very strong and women are weak, but psychologically and mentally, women are a lot stronger than men. So when it’s a serial-killer-type violent movie, it may make the audience more scared."
Shimizu also said that the combination of outward and inner strength creates a more volatile atmosphere on screen. "With a woman as a ghost, because she looks like us physically, but inside she has lots of strength, that’s what makes it really scary subconsciously," he said. "It’s also the reason why a kid ghost is scarier than an adult ghost. Children sometimes act unpredictably, and that unpredictability is really scary." The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, opens nationwide Oct. 22.