The Grudge

Ringu deserved to become The Ring, and Shutter was definitely worthy of a (pretty good) U.S. remake – but The Grudge was always kind of a bad idea during a brief wave of Asian horror remakes. The 2004 Hollywood hit couldn’t improve on the Japanese original’s muddled mess of a story. For starters, there were way too many potential victims being followed around by a malevolent ghost who doesn’t appreciate people visiting the site of a raging homicide. The Grudge 2 fizzled quickly after a big opening weekend, which left The Grudge 3 limping out as a direct-to-video disaster in 2009. Now we get a reboot/revisiting that shows nobody at Ghost House Studio has learned a damn thing about fixing the disjointed anthology feel of the franchise. This new take on The Grudge even slows down the action as a boring police procedural littered with useless jump scares – as John Cho, William Sadler and Lin Shaye struggle to keep their fine performances from feeling more like cameos in yet another horror spoof. We’re still stuck in circa 2004 for no good reason, too. This latest Grudge gets out of Tokyo and Chicago, but nothing interesting ever really happens in Cross River, Pennsylvania. At least nothing interesting enough to distract the audience from wondering why the place wouldn’t be named “Cross Rivers.” There would have to be two rivers to cross, right?