Another year, another film that proves January is the graveyard for cinema.
It has been over 15 years since the box office success of the original Grudge film that grossed over 180 million dollars on a 10 million dollar budget. Since then, Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and Takashige Ichise have desperately tried to recreate that formula with little to no success. Now we have the 2020 reboot of that 2004 hit which has been in development hell for almost a decade, about the same time ago that audiences last cared about this franchise.
The Grudge 2020 is a slow plotting remake to a film you have already seen more times than you want to admit. A curse is created due to the nature of a violent death, the house then begins to torment and kill everyone who enters it. I wish there was more to this story but there isn’t. The reboot adds nothing new to the original concept, you are just watching a bunch of people run around who have yet to accept their fate which leads to another problem. Horror films without hope are both boring and unsatisfying to watch for audiences. If you sit down and watch a group of people die who can do absolutely nothing to prevent their date, the film becomes a pointless waste of time and that will be your lasting impression as you walk out of the theater.
The Grudge is competent enough to have consistent pacing and the film doesn’t ask for too much out of its actors but you can’t shake the fact that it feels like you are watching 3 different films and aren’t inspired by any of them. A film with a good cast of established genre actors can’t save a franchise that should have been taken out via a drone strike years ago.