”Oh there’s a new Grudge remake/sequel/whatever, is it any better than the last 76 of them?”. Well yes but also no. This new 2020 version of The Grudge probably falls directly between the genre-enthusiasts and usual moviegoer in terms of general taste. In conclusion it doesn’t really go for the usual mainstream horror tropes but neither does it create its own path despite the arthouse sensibilities so the outcome is neither here or there.
The movie does a good job setting up most of the typical horror sequences that you are accustomed to. There’s enough exploration of surroundings and the shots stay pretty locked so you have time to look around. Sometimes these scenes are hit-or-miss though because the scenes linger so much that you’d wish some dialogue to appear. Many of the scenes therefore become straight up boring and a chore to get through. It’s a shame that the film is all around decently framed, shot and edited together but there’s just not enough material or depth in those shots. At times you’re giving props for the crew that the jump scares don’t rely on loud noises or extreme dynamics but there’s still few too much of those sprinkled in.
A lot of the acting stands out being pretty flat in general. Timeline jumps around to different years and characters, the main one being detective Muldoon played by Andrea Riseborough. Riseborough’s performance is quite lackluster which might be a combination of endless slow-walking and character depth that seems only outlined. All in all she isn’t capable of carrying this story any further. The other cast that includes likes of John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Demian Bichir and scream queen Lin Shaye is completely wasted with just as shallow character writing and slowly moving scenes.
Smileys: Atmosphere, looks like a film
Frowneys: Editing, Andrea Riseborough, doesn’t become a film
Is this j-horror? No. Is it yay-horror? Also no.