Ok, the first ten minutes or so of this movie are really good. The opening sequence is creepy and effective. I feel bad for the young boy, and the titular evil ghost is pretty messed up, twisting his bones and breaking them and throwing his body around like a rag doll. That sucked me in and made me think the rest of the movie would be good, too. But after that, the rest of this movie goes downhill fast. None of the characters are very engaging in this installment, and though the creepy, ghostly images that are what makes this franchise work for me are still just as creepy as ever (the past can and will KILL YOU if it has the chance) the plot is a bit thin. The first one had a lot of intrigue going for it, as does the second, with all its twists and turns, but this one feels a bit flat for me.
As for the evil, menacing "curse" and the ghosts that make this movie what it is (let's be honest, they are what made me like these movies in the first place) I do think there are enough creepy, ghostly goings on to keep my eyes glued on the screen. I don't know, I just wish the plot could have been better. I found myself not really caring about the lead characters (except for Rose, the little girl) so the movie didn't have as much appeal as it did for me in past installments when I loved the characters. I'd say though that the ghostly action is still really strong this time around, like I said, so I guess creepy music and imagery still go a long way toward holding my interest in a movie.
I do wonder why the apartment manager is so bent on ignoring the fact that an evil ghost killed all the people on his apartment, and why he keeps trying to tell the little girl that nothing bad is going to happen to her, even after it becomes clear that the evil ghost is still very much alive and kicking. I really hate it when people insist that nothing bad is happening even as the whole world is collapsing around them. "Oh, there's nothing bad going on here, it must be all in our heads" (yes, you're all having the same waking nightmare, that makes sense). Don't get me wrong, though, the movie isn't as bad as the reviews might lead you to think. I'm still a sucker for watching the creepy, evil ghostly Kayako crawling through the halls of the apartment ready to suck more victims into her spiraling world of evil.
I forgot to mention though that Shawnee Smith is in this movie, playing a psychiatrist, and she is as lovely as always. She's one character that I do like (she seems to be one of the few who will admit that something weird is going on even when everyone else is insisting that nothing is wrong...no, ghosts always try to drown little girls in their bathtubs, nothing weird going on here).