Movie Review: The Grudge
The new version of The Grudge doesn’t bring anything new to the table and never quite finds its footing delivering a rough start to a new decade.
After a young mother murders her family in her own house, a single mother and detective attempt to investigate and solve the case. Later, she discovers the house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.
The premise of The Grudge franchise is pretty simple. The idea that when someone dies in the wake of deep rage, their spirit creates a curse that can’t be broken and it terrorizes anyone who enters their place of death. It’s pretty straight forward and explains the longevity of the movies, but it seems that writer/director Nicolas Pesce didn’t get the memo.
This new installment does start off establishing how its main menace finds its way from Japan to America in 2004 (a weak attempt to connect to the first American remake) and then explains the rules of the franchise in the form of a white text against a black background – then the movie goes downhill from there. Though I do appreciate the approach Pesce tries to pull off, but the end result is a total mess of a story with cheap jump scares.
Given how The Grudge was constructed, it had four chances to tell an interesting story and blows it. This new version could have been done in an anthology format, with each independent story used in exploring the different aspects of the cure, but never does anything special or different. Details go absolutely nowhere interesting – there’re either minor or ignored – creating boring conclusions.
There is very little imagination when it comes to the film trying to scare its audience. If you were expecting more from the film’s horror, you are just gonna be rolling your eyes. And you might find yourself asking, “How did The Grudge manage to get a great cast?” The film has a stellar cast, but the material never really let utilizes their talents and explore their characters.
The Grudge could have been much better than what we got. Maybe if they had actually managed to properly connect it to the 2004 film starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and its sequel, it might have improved things just enough to make it interesting.
Critic Rating: 2/5 stars
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