Verdict: The Grudge reboot is a jump-scare treat.
Hollywood movies have regularly been inspired by Eastern films, especially in the horror genre. South Korean and Japanese films are often adapted for the audience in the West and also have a fan-following here in India. One of the popular horror series that has been giving us nightmares since 2004 is The Grudge. A remake of Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-On: The Grudge, this horror film and its sequel were helmed by the original director while Toby Wilkins directed The Grudge 3 (2009). Over a decade later, we now have a reboot of the first film helmed by Nicolas Pesce. The Grudge follows a similar premise but is set in the US.
What’s The Grudge About:
To the uninitiated, The Grudge describes a curse that is born from a murder fueled with intense rage and intensifies in the place where it has occurred. Anyone who encounters this curse is likely to die or commit murder themselves. This curse cannot be destroyed and is reborn repeatedly from victim to victim, creating a chain of horror.
The Grudge begins with Fiona Landers (Tara Westwood) escaping from a haunted house in Tokyo, where this curse was born. The evil follows her to 44, Reyburn Drive in Pennsylvania, where she returns to her husband and daughter Melinda (Zoe Fish). In a few months, all three are found dead. The Mathesons move into the house next and in a few months, William (Frankie Faison) is found dead while Faith (Lin Shaye) has to be moved to an asylum. Meanwhile, Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) is on the case of the mysterious deaths while realtors Peter Spencer (John Cho) and his pregnant wife Nina (Betty Gilpin) are also affected by the curse. The movie explores how the evil spirits haunt them all with flashbacks to the Mathesons and the Landers.
Unlike most horror films, The Grudge does not follow the haunting of a singular person or family. The result is a jump-scare treat that presents itself every few minutes. The movie barely gives you time to recover from frights as it throws more of them at you. Horror film fans will love this style of narration, even though there’s no linear storyline similar to the previous films. Despite the transitions from the past to the present, the story is easy to follow. The sudden appearances and the background sounds that come with them intensify the scares. Lin Shaye, who is no stranger to this genre, is fantastic. Her haunted act is one of her most frightening performances yet and she certainly seems to stand out in this ensemble cast.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Nicolas Pesce does not hold back in terms of gore. Even for a regular horror moviegoer, some visuals can be a little too disturbing to handle and might even induce nausea.
Why You Should Watch:
With constant jump scares and intense gore, The Grudge serves as the perfect treat for a disturbed mind and a wounded soul. For horror movie fans, you finally have a film that tests your limits. We dare you to catch it late at night.