Once again in the USA they are taking the J-scary shocker, which has now become a classic THE GRUDGE to the chest and stages an undoubtedly ambitious remake that ultimately falls victim to the self-imposed laws of the horror genre. We reveal more about this in our review.
In 2005, the curse left its mark on Faith Matheson
The plot summary
Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) is a dedicated police officer and loving mother of a son. But her latest case doesn’t just push her physical limits when one day she is called to an extraordinary crime scene. On site she finds a burned corpse, the disappearance of which apparently no one noticed for a long time. The condition of the dead reminds the cop of another case and suddenly a whole new dimension of horror opens up for the young woman. Some time ago, a curse wreaked havoc in Japan, decimating the residents of a house one by one. Now this curse has apparently reached the United States and is gradually claiming more and more lives…
The Grudge Movie Meaning of ending
At one point in Nicolas Pesce’s latest film the sentence is mentioned that the eponymous curse, which has claimed countless lives over the many years of its existence, cannot be killed. This is true both in terms of the story and in a figurative sense: since the film adaptation of the Japanese horror novel “Ju-on” was released in cinemas in 2002, there have been countless sequels and remakes. The last major reinterpretation came in the wake of the J-Horror hype, as a result of which popular Japanese horror films were remade for the US market. In the case of “Ringu” aka “Ring” with great success. But many free riders such as “Dark Water”, “The Curse of the Two Sisters” or “The Grudge” did not receive anywhere near as positive feedback, but they paid off at the box office and were able to make aspiring young actors famous overnight . 15 years after “The Grudge” with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the lead role (not counting the sequels), the next new edition follows; or better: Something between remake, reboot and sequel. The production studio previously kept important information about the narrative period behind the scenes, but now it has been confirmed: “The Grudge” from 2020 takes place between the events of the US remake and its sequel – but the reason for this becomes clear after the film just as there is no answer to the question of why you have to put the same material on the screen again when you don’t seem to have any new ideas about how you can add new facets to the whole thing in terms of content.
Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) tries to track down the curse…
Nicolas Pesce is not the first director to be headhunted by a major Hollywood studio after experimental directing work in the independent sector. After “Eyes of my Mother” and “Piercing”, the jump to a franchise work like “The Grudge” is of course quite daring – but it also gives rise to hopes that the 2020 “The Grudge” could perhaps be more than just one A horror movie made for profit that is made simply because the brand has established itself so well with the target audience. And indeed: at least in the first half, it definitely pays off that someone like Pesce was allowed to direct and write the script here, because the grainy, old-fashioned visual style is ambitious and has nothing at all in common with the bloodless, glossy world of the 2004 film. “The Grudge” to do. And speaking of blood: This “The Grudge” is also remarkably brutal, while the largely hand-made effects and masks (in particular the visage of a man disfigured by a failed headshot looks truly gruesome) give the whole thing a feel that gives you the impression , the creators wanted to get rid of the image of “The Grudge” series as largely harmless teen fun and instead use that of Pesce for their own benefit. After all, he has been talked about several times in the past because of his harsh depiction of violence (particularly in “Eyes of my Mother”). So far so surprisingly successful.
But the way in which Pesce largely lives up to his reputation in terms of directing for a long time, he quickly loses it again as the author of “The Grudge” script. And not only that: at some point he submits to the requirements of the easily digestible jump scare horror; Although one must undoubtedly give him credit for the fact that, apart from the predictable staging, his shocks always benefit from the high blood content and the courage to use violence. Otherwise, “The Grudge” from 2020 offers no more in terms of content than “The Grudge” from 2004 and therefore basically than all other films to date. No wonder: after all, Pesce also refers to the same curse of the title, whose effectiveness and method of distribution have not fundamentally changed in over two decades. Only the narrative form suggests similarly high ambitions as the staging style, but it quickly turns out to be nothing more than sensationalism. Pesce jumps back and forth between different years. Starting in 2004 – the time in which the first US remake of “The Grudge” takes place – through 2005 and up to 2006, where the main plot takes place, the events extend over three years and across four different groups of characters came into contact with the curse in their own personal way and thus ensured its spread.
The focus is clearly on a young police commissioner (Andrea Riseborough), whom he accidentally dedicates to investigating “The Grudge” case because she is the only one who recognizes the connections between two bizarre deaths. Riseborough (“Oblivion”) is remarkably profound about her ambitious policewoman, who gradually falls more and more into the clutches of the curse, but is constantly thwarted by the superficiality of the script. This applies both to her cliched character drawing as a single mother who (of course) neglects her son through her job, as well as to her fellow actors, who have it even worse with their superficial characters – and who in turn hardly do anything to ignore it. Only “Insidious” face Lin Shaye once again consolidates her position as the current grande dame of modern horror cinema. So most of them are simply allowed to be frightened at regular intervals by the routinely placed shock moments. Either because a scary grimace appears right in front of their face or because their perception is playing tricks on them in some other way. There are even some exact copyings from the many templates; Keyword: hand out of the back of the head. Of course, such scenes are always accompanied by appropriate acoustics. This means that it suddenly becomes extremely loud in the cinema whenever one of these creatures appears or something else scary happens. In the end, the new edition of “The Grudge” is just a slightly more ambitious attempt to transfer an Asian classic to mainstream territory. Forced open ending with reference to another sequel included…
Conclusion: Nicolas Pesce is undoubtedly ambitiously staging material that has already been told many times. But since he lacks ideas for new impulses in the story itself, sooner or later the jump scares take over again.
“The Grudge” can be seen in USA cinemas from January 9th.