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DVD Preview: Alt Endings Are All-American, Says <I>Grudge</I> Remake Helmer

25 Oct, 2004 By: Fred Topel

Horror movies are often coming out with ‘PG-13' ratings to cater to younger audiences, making even more room for unrated cuts on DVD. Columbia Pictures' The Grudge will take advantage of that for its unrated version.

Takashi Shimizu, who directed the original Japanese Ju-On as well as the American remake The Grudge, said the unrated version will have more scary moments and images than the Motion Picture Association of America would allow for ‘PG-13.' It will also expand on the plot, especially the famous croaking noise that the ghost makes before it attacks its victims. “The lady ghost is always making that noise, and on the DVD it explains why she makes that noise,” Shimizu said through a translator.

Ultimately, Shimizu did not mind toning the film down for its theatrical release. “I can say it was strict, but I'm not really a fan of violence and slaughter,” Shimizu said. “I don't think these are the only elements that make a horror movie more scary.”

There is also an alternate ending that will appear on the DVD, though not reconstituted into the film. “I always wanted to go with one idea and be with it,” Shimizu said. “But with experience in American production … I understand [how several endings result].”

Sam Raimi, who served as producer on the film, explained what led to the alternate ending, which he considers more artistic. Several options were written and narrowed down before shooting.

“We don't really know what the poem of the movie is and, therefore, the proper ending, really, until the performances and the scenes are all put together,” Raimi said. “We said, ‘Let's just shoot the ending we think is most appropriate, letting the director decide, and then if he wants to approve [a reshoot] later, he can. Or if he finds a better conclusion.' So we shot what he thought was the best conclusion at the time, and we actually went back and made some tweaks to it during one day of additional photography that I think is really an improvement.”

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