“The Grudge,” directed by Nicolas Pesce, was released on Jan. 3. It stars John Cho, Lin Shaye, who was also in the “Insidious” movies, and Andrea Riseborough. This film is a part of the on-going “Grudge” franchise. The American remake of “The Grudge” in 2004, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, was and is potentially the most popular version. For a film that is a part of such an amazing franchise, I was left disappointed and unsatisfied.
The opening scene was perhaps the best part of the entire film. It was promising and had me thinking that the rest of the movie was going to be good. Despite seeing that Rotten Tomatoes had given the film a miserable 19 percent, I wanted to watch it and judge it for myself. I had previously watched the first “Grudge” film, which was unsettling, so I had very low expectations for this one. The movie was disappointing as expected.
This film did not deserve to be called a horror movie. Remakes often do not come anywhere near close to the originals, and if this one did not have “Grudge” in the title, I would have never guessed that it was a “Grudge” film.
The storyline is confusing from the start. A woman brings the curse home from Japan and ends up killing her whole family inside the home. Detective Muldoon, played by Riseborough, attempts to investigate the case, only to discover the house is cursed and that she must protect herself and her family from it. Peter Spencer’s back story does nothing to help the plot; it felt as if it was just randomly placed in the film. It was not needed at all. He and his wife, Nina, played by Betty Gilpin, are expecting a child. However, after Peter enters 44 Reyburn Drive, the cursed house, the curse latches on to him, and he ends up killing his wife in the kitchen and drowning himself in the bathtub.
It should be known that everyone who enters the house ends up cursed.
The trailer gave me the notion that the film was going to be excellent, but I have to say that the trailer was scarier than the movie. The movie contained CGI ghosts and predictable jump scares. I always jump at some points of scary movies, but I did not jump once during the span of this one. The whole film was strange, with many audience members asking “What?” in confusion as well. It was also very slow and boring, and in my opinion, there is nothing more aggravating than a boring horror movie.
The actors played their characters very well, especially Lin Shaye, who played Faith Matheson. Matheson was an unstable elderly woman who befriended the ghost of Melinda, the child killed by the original cursed woman. The film also paid homage to the original “Grudge” by having the classic hand coming out of Peter’s head while he was in the shower.
Throughout the movie, I found myself getting distracted very easily. One of my friends that I went with even fell asleep during the film, and my other friend started dozing off. I contemplated getting up and walking out. That is how bad the film was.
Although the film was horrendous, it had an extremely impressive setting and wonderful actors. As the first released horror movie of 2020, there is no competition against this film for the upcoming horror films this year. I think it could have been made differently. I rate this movie 1 out of 5 stars.