The Grudge (2020) A Review

Well…that was just about what you would expect from a third reboot of an already only average horror film.

Certificate: 15

Director: Nicolas Pesce

Screenwriter: Nicolas Pesce

Starring: Tara Westwood, Junko Bailey, David Lawrence Brown

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 94 Minutes

Rating: 1.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

It’s not often you can accuse a horror film of trying to do TOO much.  But that was exactly the issue I had with the grudge.  It tried to tell too many stories and had too many narrative threads going on.  And then instead of them all weaving together into some gruesome tapestry, they end up in kind of a messy knot on the floor.

In case you missed the previous god knows how many versions of this film.  The basic idea of the Grudge revolves around a curse that haunts a house where someone died a tragic and violent death.  Uaually this occurs in Tokyo.  But when the curse is brought back to the United States to a house in a quiet town, a harried police detective must find a way of stopping it before she ends up like all the victims before her, violent and insane.

Any one of the four or so narratives the movie tries to tell would have made for a fairly average film, but any one of those average films would have bee better than the mess that we ended up with.  We follow at least four different narratives, one of the police detective, one of the realtor trying tot sell the haunted house and two different narratives from people who have previously lived in the house.  But we chop and change between them so quickly and so often, that it can be hard to get a firm grip on where you are and what is happening.

There is little to no atmosphere here.  Everyone who has seen a Grudge film knows what to expect, so it seems like the film makers didn’t try to do anything different then has been done previously.  Some of the scary moments are great, where they just utilise the use of a shadow passing through the background of a shot.  But more often then not a shot is framed so that you know exactly where to look and you know exactly where the scare is coming from, so not even the jump scares are really all that scary.

It was old hat before they decided to make this poor attempt at a reboot, and this iteration ahs done nothing to improve the reputation of the franchise.  If you want to watch a Grudge film, I recommend watching the original Japanese version.  It has the best creepy atmosphere and the best scares, and leave any of the American remakes alone.

However if you do want to see this for yourselves, The Grudge is out in UK cinemas now.

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