Film column – The Grudge

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THE Grudge’ is a reboot of an American remake of the 2002 modern Japanese horror classic ‘Ju-On’.

I’ve never been much of a fan of Hollywood remakes, especially when it comes to horror movies. The 2004 rehash of ‘The Grudge’ starring Sarah Michelle Gellar was woeful, so I wasn’t particularly excited at the prospect of another disjointed reproduction.

Actually, if I’m completely honest, the Japanese original never really did much for me either. In my humble opinion, its not even in the same league as the real J-Horror masterpiece — ‘Ringu’.

So, to my surprise, the new version, directed by Nicolas Pesce and produced by cult horror director Sam Raimi, turned out to be a far better movie than I could have expected.

‘The Grudge’ 2020 is a far more twisted, and at times, gruesome affair with plenty of jump-scares. However, this reboot, which stars Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho and Betty Gilpin, has one big problem.

It is very bleak. So bleak, in fact, that it almost becomes disorienting.

But overall, fans of more recent popcorn-swilling fright fests as ‘Sinister’ and ‘The Conjuring’ will find plenty to salivate over.

For my money, this version is actually a more satisfying experience than Takashi Shimizu’s original, but the dreary timbre of Pesce’s movie will not be to everyone’s liking. It certainly doesn’t make for repeated viewing.

For those coming new to the franchise, ‘The Grudge’ tells the story of a detective attempting to investigate the murder of a young mother and her family in her own home, only to discover the house is cursed by a vengeful ghost.

This is creepy stuff, but grimmer than an Irish weather forecast in January.