“The Grudge” – Criticism of the theatrical release – Film plus criticism – online magazine for film & cinema

of Paul Kunz

The Japanese horror film “Ju-On” was first remodeled in 2004 as “The Grudge” by the United States. The film received two sequels at the time, then a reboot of the American remake series was announced. The latest entry in the franchise was created under the direction of Nicolas Pesce (responsible for “Piercing“) And again titled” The Grudge “has now become a sequel.

“The Grudge” seems to be more of a mixture of horror film and crime thriller. The plot follows a series of characters from different timelines who suffer the consequences of a cruel curse that was “brought in” from Tokyo to the United States: the curse arises wherever a crime of great anger is committed and haunts all those who enter the crime scene. Because ghost lady Kayako from the previous “The Grudge” parts is absent this time, some new ghosts are allowed to hunt the unsuspecting people. The story of these ghosts is gradually revealed.

A well-known cast does not make a good film – you can see it here: Andrea Riseborough

This is one thing above all: boring to die for. Somehow the film barely manages to let anything happen over its entire duration and builds entirely on the mystery of the history of its ghost figures. But the “revelations” staged as great twists, which the film presents time after time, provide answers to questions that have not even been asked. For example, one of the ghosts bleeds from the nose: at the end of the film, the reason for the nosebleed is revealed. Once again, the film reveals the origin of a car accident – but it’s just the realization that the person behind the wheel was frightened by a ghost.

That the storyline of the film does not interest you at all is due to other circumstances: not only is the structure with the different timelines unnecessarily nested and makes it difficult to follow the already thin, uninteresting plot, the script also gives us no opportunity, the numerous characters to get to know to cheer with them when they are in danger. This is a shame because “The Grudge” has a very talented cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin and Jacki Weaver. However, the film gives them absolutely nothing to do and instead lets them pray down dull dialogues or frighten them of ghosts.

The biggest weakness of “The Grudge” is above all the completely absent creep factor. There is not a single moment when the film takes enough time to build excitement or create an eerie atmosphere. Instead, he keeps his audience from falling asleep with regular jump scares, even though they are so clumsily placed that you can see the exact moment when the film shows us the ghost faces from far away. Nothing is new here anyway, because whatever the film pulls out of the creepy box has been seen numerous times and much better either in the “The Grudge” franchise itself or in countless other horror films.

A ray of light in dreary gray – “Insidious” star Lin Shaye


“The Grudge” is one annoyance. He fails as a horror film because he neglects to be scary and instead pushes his nested non-plot in front of him in 94 miserable minutes, completely unmotivated. The only bright spot in the whole catastrophe is the basically capable cast, because they all make the best of the material that is available to them. Nevertheless, boredom dominates.


3 out of 10 points

Images: © Sony Pictures


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