His original partner, Wilson, became obsessed with the house at 44 Reyburn Drive after investigating the Landers killings, and eventually shot himself (he survived, and is now institutionalized).
the grudge 2020 trailer – The Grudge Review
A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death. This gray feeling extends to the lead characters: Recently widowed Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough), new to town with her young son and the usual boilerplate about how starting over will be good for them, looks exhausted before she even investigates the origins of a long-rotting corpse. Her new partner, Detective Goodman (Demián Bichir) chain-smokes in a dingy, cluttered house with dim, yellowish lighting.
That’s the sorry path down which the ignoble yet lovable horror franchise is presently headed. On the upside, we’ve gotten more good studio-level horror that defies replication or succession over the past few years than we’ve seen in some time, and grateful we all are for the Get Outs and the The Witches and the Midsommars. But mass-appeal studio franchise horror is its own organism, and a once-robust species approaching the endangered list. The closest thing today’s generation of young moviegoers have to a Freddy Krueger is the Babadook, and he’s too busy leading the LGBTQ rights movement to appear in a sequel. Horror itself is alive and well, moreso now than it has been for a while. But we’re suffering from a dearth of true boogeymen, the figures that loom in our shared pop-cultural nightmares. It’s the faces that stay with us.
Some time later, Muldoon hugs Burke before he leaves for school, only to see another Burke leave the house. The “Burke” she is hugging is revealed to be Melinda. Muldoon is dragged away by Fiona’s ghost, thereby becoming a victim of the curse. The credits roll over a silent shot of Muldoon’s new home; the same home where the Spencers died and now a new extension of the curse.
The Grudge is a virus, not a ghost. You can’t reason with it. You can’t redeem it. You can only kill for it and die from it. The Grudge is a curse that attaches to your person the moment you come into contact with it. Once its tendrils have you, it squeezes until your mind is cracked and performing its dark bidding. Finally, with your essence consumed, it waits for the next person to breathe its noxious air.
The Grudge is director Nicolas Pesce’s third film. His first, The Eyes of My Mother, was in black and white. Piercing was in color and set mostly in a hotel room. With The Grudge Pesce creates an aesthetic that’s unique to the Japanese films and the previous American remakes that mimicked them.
It’s a ritual nearly as predictable as a Marvel movie in May or romantic movies in February: The first weekend of every January sees the release of a new horror movie. It’s remarkable enough that this once-barren weekend has been colonized into its own niche horror holiday. But in some cases, the movies have even been good — or at least respectable by the historically low standards of January movies. Sometimes those relaxed standards are a relief following a season of blockbusters and awards-bait. Movies like last year’s Escape Room or 2018’s Insidious: The Last Key are effective little genre pictures.
11. The Grudge 3 was the first film in either the Japanese or American franchises not to be directed by Takashi Shimizu, with Toby Wilkins taking over. Incidentally, it was also the first one not to receive a theatrical release and the first one not to employ the nonlinear sequence of events successfully used previously.
In 2004, Fiona Landers returns home from Japan, where she worked as a caretaker in a cursed house. Unfortunately, while Fiona is happy to be reunited with her husband Sam and her daughter Melinda, the joy doesn’t last. The curse has followed Fiona home to 44 Reyburn Drive, where, driven mad by the apparitions she sees, she drowns Melinda and stabs Sam, then commits suicide.
Pesce’s The Grudge” often leads his uniformly strong cast to a jump-scare, and those jolts prove to be its least exciting attribute. Not just because of their generic construction (though Pesce can wind them up like a pro), but the pay-off, of seeing shadowy, wet figures scream with their eyes blacked out, sometimes introduced by the goofy slow croaking sound that The Grudge” has made canon. Yes, there’s ghoulish stuff involving tubs and showers, but they play more like Grudge” visual cues than standalone anxious sequences. There’s a lot of peekaboos in “The Grudge,” too many for what makes the movie good, and by the third act they feel like an awkward part of the transaction in watching a horror film made by a studio that needs a good trailer.
The past doesn’t always stay in the past. Sometimes, you carry it with you. But you don’t have to hold on to the bitter memories and painful moments that steal your joy and weigh you down. You have the choice to let go of The Grudge.
The new Grudge reboot from director Nicolas Pesce is no different. But it’s not just the basic premise that The Grudge shares with its predecessors. It also has a haunted house, a creepy kid, mysterious murders, and a non-linear storyline that builds to a big, spooky reveal.
Save for a few nice cinematographic shots and a few cleverly hidden ghosts throughout the film (if the viewer was paying attention), this film was NOT The Grudge. A few jumps, but nothing in comparison to any of the other films. Kayako was in the film ONCE – in the first two minutes of the film. Toshio was nowhere to be found. The rest of the film consisted of her rip-offs, in America. it just didn’t feel like a film from the franchise, the only part that felt familiar in the slightest was Kayako’s croak sound.
While juggling these different lives in different timelines, Pesce achieves a seamlessness that creates a backstory more about the entity’s kill count than it does individual characters. But he gets a strong pacing, all while telling the same downhill trajectory of how these people unwittingly cursed themselves, and became prey to a force that has little logic other than to appear in the shadows, be angry, and be consistent. In Pesce’s hands, the supernatural force that attacks these characters isn’t like the bad-luck ghost from Shimizu’s version, but feels as ever-present and ruthless as grief itself.
Yet the only real references to its source material are a brief glimpse of the house from the 2004 film and the repeated use of that ghostly, guttural croak – the one that sounds like the world’s longest burp. The ghosts themselves could easily have floated in from The Conjuring, Insidious, or any other popular horror franchise; there’s none of the powdery, white skin and kohl-rimmed eyes that made Shimizu’s creations so distinctive. Gone, too, is the little boy who sits and screeches like a cat. It was an image so strange, you couldn’t help but find it creepy.
When it was announced that Ghost House Pictures would be rebooting the franchise, long after the J-horror craze had waned, the immediate reaction was why? And why now? But after stepping foot on set of The Grudge in Winnipeg, Canada, those answers became clear. More importantly, the group of journalists left set that day in June feeling very excited about director Nicolas Pesce’s vision for this reimagining.
Flashback <-> Flashforward: Arguably the franchise’s single defining characteristic (and greatest success) is its use of non-linear storytelling, which complicates the relatively straightforward narrative by jumping backwards and forward in time. The new film follows suit, toggling back and forth between 2004 (the Landers & Spencers), 2005 (the Mathesons) and 2006 (Detectives Muldoon and Goodman). Yet, unlike Shimizu, who uses the non-linear approach to spread out horrific set pieces, Pesce mistakenly waits until the end of the film to deliver nearly all of the violence. This results in a lot of time spent watching the only not-so-unnerving day-to-day activities of the families, all while Muldoon connects the dots about their cases. Even worse, the vast majority of these details are easily predicted, which means that the audience is constantly pacing ahead of the film’s characters, making the 93 minute runtime feel like an eternity.
Writer-director Nicolas Pesce keeps his film creaking and shrieking along within a taut 94 minutes, filling it with some disagreeable images even by the standards of the genre. The film, which also stars Andrea Riseborough, sees families succumb to the curse of The Grudge and become ghosts with Pesce admitting that he wanted to keep the ghosts as basic as possible.
The essence of the story centers around a house in Tokyo, Japan, that is haunted by an onryō or vengeful ghost” of a woman name Kayako — who, along with her son Toshio and their cat, was murdered by her jealous husband. As the movie states in an intro, whenever a person dies in extreme rage or sorrow, a curse settles upon the house and upon anyone who either steps inside the house or encounters someone else who has. Kayako’s ghost kills them either directly or indirectly through other violent and mysterious means.
Tomas Alfredson’s modern classic Swedish vampire drama Let the Right One In” was only two years old when Matt Reeves remade it for American audiences, but Let Me In” is anything but a superfluous rehash. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz bring their own pain and warmth to their characters (a bullied boy and the immortal vampire who takes a shine to him, respectively), and Reeves adds a handful of gruesome shocks that make Alfredson’s icy original seem more brutal than before. Let the Right One In” is the more mature and graceful film, but Let Me In” is an expertly crafted crowdpleaser, equally valid but made for slightly different tastes.
Apart from Kayako herself, the one fixed point of these films is grotesque, harrowing death foretold, which Pesce, like previous directors, duly delivers as a bleak memento mori for the popcorn-chewing, thrill-seeking viewer.
Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) narrowly avoids losing her mind by burning the subject of her investigation to the ground. Determined that the house at 44 Reyburn Drive is the root of the multiple unsolved murders plaguing her station’s cold case files, she storms behind its walls and soaks its carpets in gasoline. As she does so, she sees the spirits of the Landers family reenact their death throes. Mrs. Landers (Tara Westwood) smashes her husband on the head, and he tumbles down the stairs. She drowns her thrashing, darling daughter in the black muck of the tub, and tears into her own throat, splashing the stained glass windows with arterial red.
8. The Grudge 2 was given the greenlight on the Monday following the first remake’s release after the film proved to be a surprise success, grossing more than $39 million in just three days. With a production budget of less than $10 million, its worldwide total box office of over $187 million made it one of the most profitable movies of 2004.
Sam Raimi’s low-budget, independent, raw, ultraviolent and hyperkinetic cult classic was remade by Fede Alvarez into a raw, ultraviolent and hyperkinetic film that’s no less daring or subversive or grotesque for being paid for and released by a studio. In the remake, a group of young friends convene at an isolated cabin in the woods to help Mia (Jane Levy) battle her addiction to heroin, but along the way they accidentally release an ancient evil force that possesses Mia and tries to mutilate and destroy them all. The new Evil Dead” captures Raimi’s virtuosic storytelling – and reminds us all just how limp and conventional most modern camerawork really is – while subverting audience expectations about where this remake is going, and how despicably it’s going to get there. It’s just as frightening and bizarre as the original, remake or no.
It’s crucial to note that these films were not sequels but reboots, a fine distinction that makes all the difference. I look back fondly on the days when studios cranked out sequels ad infinitum to anything they thought could turn a buck, driving Freddy and Pinhead into eight- or nine-picture engagements. The studios ginned up increasingly fanciful scenarios into which they could stick their marquee ghouls; Jason took Manhattan and jumped into the future, the Cenobites went to space and turned meta, et cetera. Even when these films scraped the bottom of the barrel on their way to the dollar bin, there was a devil-may-care fun to be had in watching how cheap, strange, and blissfully dumb they were willing to go. The plague of reboots abandons this schematic in its constant back-to-one resetting, endlessly cycling through the same origin stories and other mythos.
The key word there is slightly,” as every time Pesce seems to be struggling against the narrative restraints of studio filmmaking, the bonds prove unbreakable—with one deliciously mean-spirited exception, which we won’t give away here but was met with audible disapproval at The A.V. Club’s screening of the film. Overall, though, the director and co-writer’s merciless style is muffled by The Grudge’s over-reliance on clichéd jump scares; more damningly, only some of these are effective, even in terms of cheap thrills. This becomes especially true in the film’s second half, when the ghosts become at once more human and less creepy.
Right away, executive producer Schuyler Weiss addresses what it is about The Grudge that makes it ripe for reimagining, It’s a great story in a really fundamental way, not just that the actual plot and the characters are perfect for a remake. It’s more this underlying mythos of The Grudge that was created by Shimizu, it’s just really fertile grounds to make any story that still feels connected. It’s the overlapping stories that all connected through an intersection with this one location that holds The Grudge and the origin of that Grudge. It’s just really great material. Plus, you have a rich legacy of films, and here we are making new, fresh stories that fit in with that really good framework.” In other words, this iteration is only taking the foundational elements from the franchise and using them as a starting point to craft an entirely new mythology.
The increasingly awful Cloverfield films link up in only the loosest sense, united by the presence of a fleetingly glimpsed alien creature (not even the same creature — or the same species!) that often gives the impression of having been stuck into an otherwise unrelated script. The Conjuring tried to sell itself as a franchise in the older mode with the demon-led spinoffs Annabelle and The Nun, but they faltered due to the central support beam of the series being the spirit-hunters played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.
That’s the caveat with CinemaScore: It’s less a barometer of a movie’s quality and more of a movie’s marketing and how well it delivered what was promised, for better or worse. Horror movies get hit particularly hard by CinemaScore crowds (more than half of the F-Grade Club are horror or were at least sold that way) in part because the genre often traffics in emotional and visceral extremes. But sometimes, it’s just because a movie is really, really crap.
The Grudge franchise was remade for American audiences from the Japanese Ju-On franchise; here’s a worst to best ranking of the movies. 10. As Karen’s equally ill-fated sister Aubrey, Amber Tamblyn appeared in both of the most successful horror franchises based on Japanese films in the 2000s after having appeared in 2002’s The Ring as well.
The release of Ju-On” occurred during the J-Horror craze , which began back in 1998 with the release of the film Ringu”(Ring”). It was a perfect mix of Japanese folklore and urban legends, telling the story of a reporter investigating the of deaths of people who died seven days after watching a VHS tape cursed by another onryō named Sadako. Ringu” was followed by other horror films such as Kairo” (Pulse,” 2001), Honogurai Mizu”(Dark Water,” 2002), Ju-On”(The Grudge,” 2002), and Chakushin Ari”(One Missed Call,” 2003).
Takashi Shimizu, a darling of the recent Japanese horror boom, makes his Hollywood debut with this incoherent remake of his equally incoherent Asian hit Ju-on (2000). The original, shot simultaneously with its sequel and released straight to video, was an endless series of set pieces in which unsuspecting rubes exploring a desolate home stumble upon the ghosts of a woman and a little boy. Strangely, the remake is still set in Japan, though Bill Pullman, Clea DuVall, and Sarah Michelle Gellar are shoehorned in as Western visitors. Most of the chills have been faithfully re-created, though first-time screenwriter Stephen Susco hasn’t done much to straighten out the muddled narrative. With Ryo Ishibashi (Audition). PG-13, 91 min.
So The Grudge skips straight into the hopelessness, sometimes bordering on nihilism, and Pesce’s style isn’t enough to enliven the downcast mood. It’s not unusual for a horror movie to reach a dead end of its own making, caught between a desire to resolve a story and to leave some tension hanging for a scare-hungry audience. When The Grudge feels a little worse than usual in this regard, it may have to do with release-date concerns beyond the film’s control. Pesce likely wasn’t writing or directing this movie with January 3rd in mind. But intentionally or not, the movie sets a glum tone. It almost seems to be saying: If you’re going to a new movie in January, you must be in a bad place — or want to get to one as soon as possible.
Remakes have been a part of the studio machine since at least as far back as 1904 when the groundbreaking The Great Train Robbery” was reshot and resold. In the century-plus that followed, remakes have gotten a bad name for themselves and, to some, are indicative of the creative vacancy of the mainstream entertainment industry. But look closer and you’ll find that many filmmakers are doing wonderful things by taking old stories and making them new again, either by adding visual flair or injecting nuance where, perhaps, there was little to be found before. Some of the best movies of the last decade were remakes. And these, we dare say, were the 10 best.