I have a thing for horror movies, as most people who know me know. My quest for watching horror movies, thus, took me to watch The Grudge (2020). Now, this one was supposed to be a reboot of the 2004 Hollywood remake and the 2002 Japanese film Ju-On: The Grudge, but it ended up being a sidequel to the two films. The 2020 The Grudge is written and directed by Nicolas Pesce and I don’t know why this film was made. It also made me wonder why Hollywood has this tendency to remake and create sequels of successful horror movies when there’s nothing new to offer.
Now, 2004 The Grudge was an enjoyable film, much like the movie it was remade from. It was also a commercial success, making $187.2 million on a budget of $10 million. The moment it received popularity, producers started popping out Grudge movies every other year. The movie that started off being a fan-favourite and was liked because of its original scares, became a bore-fest as time moved on and people eventually stopped caring about it. I think I was honestly a little surprised when this one was announced and wondered why it was necessary.
It is also to be noted here that The Grudge (2020) came almost 10 years after The Grudge 3. There was no point of that movie as well, but what were the producers (Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Taka Ichise) thinking? That 10 years later The Grudge would be relevant? And it also doesn’t help that the movie features the exact same scares from the first movie – but worse.
It’s not scary
So, I’m not going to go into a review or talk about the plot because, frankly, it doesn’t matter. However, the scares were just disappointing. Random ghost-people just in corners and breathing heavily, just running around, shadows on the windows (which looked terrible), a Kayako-esq ghost coming out of a bathtub, someone being dragged into the said bathtub and the infamous hand behind the head scene. We’ve seen all of this once. What is the point of a reboot if it features the exact same thing? Also, the ghosts somehow make Kayako’s rattling sound, even none of them were killed by snapping their necks? There was a reason why that sound was included, and it wasn’t just because it sounded creepy.
Also, a movie titled The Grudge doesn’t feature Kayako. I can’t even.
Does Hollywood really think that the audiences are stupid? I mean, I do sometimes enjoy a reboot and two, but atleast make the effort to make some sort of sense!
Not the only one
This isn’t only the case with The Grudge, however. Hollywood has been pushing out horror remakes like world peace depends on it. And the trend was started by The Ring, the 2002 remake of a Japanese movie. The Ring paved the way for Hollywood remakes of Asian horror movies and was followed quickly by The Grudge, Dark Water, One Missed Call, The Eye, Shutter, Mirrors, The Echo and The Uninvited.
Anyway, The Ring made two sequels, The Ring Two and Rings, and will hopefully refrain from making more terrible sequels.
We also have Paranormal Activity which took the world by storm. That series, also started out strong with the first part, fizzed out pretty soon after. However, Hollywood’s greed for money didn’t stop and they kept on making more. So, we have seven instalments in that franchise (the seventh one is coming out in 2021, yay!) and, honestly, the audience is tired of it. These movies make no sense, there is no continuity, and the most bizarre things are happening – even for a horror movie.
Why so serious?
Coming back to The Grudge, the film takes itself a bit too seriously, like its doing something new and awesome. And that’s probably one of the problems of most reboots. They don’t realise that they are the third or fourth movie in the franchise, and people are honestly done with the series. The Grudge tries to tell a tale that we have seen before, and delivers scares that you can see from a mile away. It’s frankly a boring movie, like most franchises are. And yes, I will add The Conjuring to this list as well. Only the first film invoked some scares in me, and that’s only because it was something new. The sequels were horrible and were not scary.
But as I was saying, when you’re the fourth movie in a franchise, maybe take yourself a little less seriously. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not like world peace depends on you.
Or, let the franchise just go to bed already. It’s 2020. Real-world is becoming scarier than fiction at this point.