Textual Analysis on ‘The Grudge’
The Grudge (Synopsis) • ‘The Grudge describes a curse that is born when someone walks into the place and dies through the force of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow. The curse gathers and began in the place where the person died. Those who fall victim from this murderous supernatural force die and the curse is reborn, passed from victim to victim in an endless growing chain of horror.’
The Grudge Trailer
Micro • Camera Work • Sound • Mise en scene
How Camera Angles evoke Fear • There are multiple camera angles in the grudge such as the Low and Close up shot, the Point Of View angle and the Birdseye view too. For example, in the beginning of the film when the social worker Rika goes to check on the old women; there is a close up shot of her eye to show the fear in her eyes to not only show she’s scared but to show that there’s something drastic about to happen. Also, as Rika is going to find the old women again, we can see that there is a sudden low shot of her hand reaching out as she opens the door. This shows fear in the fact that as it’s sudden it can be used to scare the audience as well as the interpretation of the hand reaching out could mean there’s a lot coming for Rika further on in the movie; making us feel fearful towards the character. Furthermore, when Hitomi is looking down at the teddy that has just appeared (through the use of a low shot) we have a point of view shot of her looking up at a dark, black figure. This is important because as we are watching in a Point of View angle, we are in her position which is effective because in order to feel scared at certain points of the film we have to be in the situation the character is in.
How sound evokes fear In the film we can see throughout that film is used to evoke fear. For example, when Mariko and Rika are in the position of searching the house for Toshio, there is always the nondigetic sounds of ongoing drastic music, which is effective because it makes the audience at their edge of their seats wondering what’s going to happen next. Also, the music is used effectively to evoke fear through the sound of props. For example; for a digetic sound; when Hitomi is in her house, the phone suddenly rings. This is effective because the audience doesn’t know it’s coming; which could be used to make the audience jump; evoking fear.
How Mise En Scene evokes fear â€˘ There is a some Mise En Scene (Everything in front of the camera) that is used to evoke fear. For example, through costume. Rika is wearing a yellow t-shirt, which could show the innocence she portrays, which evokes fear because if sheâ€™s innocent going into a cursed house then its only bad things to come. Also, as Mika goes into house, you can see that there are lots of objects lying around the house which shows the sombre atmosphere and already gives us a hint into want is going to happen in the film.
How Editing evokes Fear When Hitomi was in the house, she was watching TV when all of a sudden the TV went fuzzy and the women froze into multiple angles to show her mouth wide open. This evokes fear because when the TV is all fuzzy and the women is froze is begins to leave the audience on edge; wondering what's in store for the character next. Also, the point where Rika is laying down and is surrounded by cats to getting up and realising it was all a dream evokes fear in the film. This is because at first, we feel for Rika as she is laying completely alone in a dark place surrounded by cats. However, there is a major contrast as she wakes up in a completely bright and happier place; realising it was a dream. This is effective as it is a few points in the films where a major contrast between light and darkness appears; showing the theme of horror in most parts.
Macro • Character Types • Narrative Styles • Themes
How Character Types evoke fear There are multiple characters in the Grudge where the audience is on edge. For example, Toshio. The fact that he is completely pale with his black eyes wide open and always hiding shows that he only has bad intentions and that he is the antagonist; making us fear for anyone who is in contact with him. Also, the character Kayako evokes fear in the grudge as she is similar to Toshio. For example, her bloodshot eyes and blue face suggest that she could also be dangerous to anyone that is faced in front of her.
How Narrative Structure evokes fear â€˘ The Narrative structure evokes fear because the whole plot is stepping into a curse when walking into the deceived house; which sets the whole theme of darkness, horror and isolation perfectly. However, the story is told in chapters which can also evoke fear because the audience does not simply know what is going to happen. For example, near the end it seemed like Rika and Mariko were going to have a happy ending when all of a sudden there both back to the house and reborn into the curse.
How Themes evoke fear â€˘ The main theme of darkness evokes fear in many parts of the film. For example, darkness and isolation. When we are introduced to the house we can tell that it is completely dark and also made to feel isolated by that too. This evokes fear because seeing characters vulnerable only means bad things to come.