Movie Review: ‘The Grudge’ Reboot Is Mediocre At Best

March 24, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:



Nicolas Pesce takes us on a bleak and violent journey through the lives of several people in his reboot of The Grudge.

This time set in the U.S., The Grudge follows a woman working in Tokyo at the original house as she brings home the curse to her family and her home. We watch as several people enter the home not knowing its terrible secret over several years, beginning in 2004. A cop and single mother, who has just moved to town following her husband’s death sets out to uncover the secret of the house and the multiple deaths that are connected to it.

There are a lot of characters in this movie, each in a sad situation. The main cast is huge and includes Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, Lin Shaye, Frankie Faison, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Lorna Weaver, William SadlerZoe Fish, David Lawernce Brown, John J. Hansen, Tara Westwood, and Junko Bailey. Part of the problem is that there are too many characters.

The Grudge is the perfect example of a film where the writer-director is trying to do too much. Besides the lack of character depth, we see short clips teasing what happened to each couple and individual characters, they hop back and forth between events over several years in no particular order.

As far as horror, there are a few jump scares, but unfortunately, there’s no real-time in each story to build real suspense. The movie is also a bit predictable.

As far as the special effects go, they were top-notch. The ghosts and the dead looked gnarly, better than the original. The kills in the movie are creative and looked pretty realistic. There is a bonus feature on the Blu-ray that takes you behind the scenes and reveals how several of the special effects were created, which is great.

When you get down to it, The Grudge is a bit of a mess and over complicated. There’s just too much going on. And the lack of character development doesn’t help. Don’t get me wrong, I think Nicolas Pesce is brilliant, but this movie just missed the mark. I’m scoring The Grudge at a 2 out 5.

The Grudge is now out on Digital and arrives on Blu-Ray™ and DVD on March 24th, from Sony Pictures. Bonus features include three featurettes, an alternative ending, and bonus scenes hailed too frightening for theaters.





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