The Grudge (2020)

grudge poster 2020 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 5/10

Good cast

Same old Grudge with no new tricks or scares

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Grudge

Studio: Screen Gems

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): January 3, 2020

MPAA Rating: R

grudge 2020 hand in hair shower

Hand in the head…classic…like the first 3 or 4 times they did it in the previous movies

Fiona Landers (Tara Westwood) has witnessed horror in a house in Tokyo.  Returning home, something followed Fiona and now that horror is nesting in a home in Pennsylvania.  People that enter the home on 44 Reyburn Drive take something with them when they leave.  A ju-on or “grudge” exists when someone is killed in a rage and the grudge cannot be stopped.  When newly transferred Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) enters the home, she is warned by her partner Detective Goodman (Demián Bichir) that the house has evil attached to it…now Detective Goodman is in a race against time to stop the ju-on before it claims her.

Directed by Nicolas Pesce, The Grudge is a horror thriller.  The film is a sequel to the American Grudge series which last entry was The Grudge 3 from 2009, but it also serves as a soft reboot.  The film was met with mixed to negative reviews.

grudge 2020 corpse car

Is anyone here a doctor…I don’t think she’s breathing!!!

The Grudge (both the American and the Japanese versions) had its moments.  The woman coming down the stairs all herky-jerky with her creepy clicking moan was terrifying at points, and the same can be said about the “cat boy”, but the overall story failed to really capture me even though I liked the out of order telling.  The new version of The Grudge is like the previous films…with less appeal and clever telling.

The story seems to have this weird, passive telling that doesn’t add up.  Instead of being straight forward about stuff, Wilson’s partner Goodman is elusive and mysterious when telling her about the crimes committed in the house before.  It is even less explained if the coroner or anyone sent in to retrieve the people from the house by Wilson are hit with the ju-on or not.  I was more interested in the story of the second people in the home (aka Jacki Weaver, Lin Shaye, and Frankie Faison) than the first people or Wilson.

grudge lin shaye

Grudges are fun!!!

The movie does get a decent cast.  In addition to the above mentioned sequence with Weaver, Shaye, and Faison, you get John Cho as a really unlucky real estate agent and Betty Gilpin as his wife.  Demián Bichir is generally interesting and I like Andrea Riseborough too…unfortunately all of them are stuck in a rather lackluster horror film.

The movie doesn’t have as many good visuals as the original film.  The lurking horror of the situation is perfect for true terror, but it doesn’t feel like the film utilizes (though I do like the little trick switch in the final scene).

The Grudge is skippable.  Since the film is a bit of a relaunch, it lacks any of the intertwined storylines that would better tie it to the original three films (other than the basic house in Japan).  It needs to be clever and edgier to necessitate the relaunch…the horror just isn’t where it needs to be.  Let The Grudge die.

Related Links:

The Grudge (2004)

The Grudge 2 (2006)

The Grudge 3 (2009)

Ju-on (2003)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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