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Parents' Guide to

The Grudge (2020)

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Pointless horror reboot has lots of blood, jump scares.

Movie R 2020 94 minutes
The Grudge (2020) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 17+

Not too bad

The Grudge is another tale in The Grudge Universe, though not directly connected to any other movie in the franchise, and was released in early January 2020. It stars Tara Westwood, Junko Bailey, and David Lawrence Brown. It is directed by Nicolas Pesce. The film follows the effects of a curse accidentally brought over from Japan. The only The Grudge movie I've seen was the American Remake released in 2004. That movie scared me but was an overall bad film. Just because a movie or book scares me doesn't mean it did horror well. The Grudge released in 2020 both scared me and is a good film. The Grudge is told out of order with Detective Muldoon giving the film structure. The reason for this is because she went into the cursed house and is trying to figure out what may happen to her. So when we get flashbacks it always follows her investigations. While the rules of The Grudge are followed, there are a few instances when I wondered why some characters didn't die sooner. There are three characters that managed to live for some time after entering the house. Maybe it all has to do about how a person acts while inside the house? But then why would a curse born out of rage care if you were polite? The sound the boy made in the original American Remake of The Grudge scared me more. While the new sound is creepy it doesn't have the same edge as the former had. I would recommend The Grudge for someone who wants a good film and some scares. If I was more familiar with The Grudge franchise I could tell if it was good for fans of the series.

This title has:

Too much violence
age 18+

Great horror movie

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (9 ):

A curiously talented and interesting cast was somehow lured into -- and subsequently wasted in -- this pointless, tired, reboot/revival of the long-running Ju-On Japanese-based horror series. At least the cast keeps things from sinking into total awfulness. The Grudge (2020) is the fourth American/English-language movie in the series, which, by some counts, now runs to 13 feature-length movies. The last one, the fun, tongue-in-cheek Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) -- which pitted the stringy-haired girl Grudge ghost against the stringy-haired girl ghost from The Ring -- probably should have put an end to it. But apparently the lure of profits brought down the curse once again.

The random unfairness of the entire idea -- that simply walking into a house causes someone to be haunted forever -- isn't really very interesting, and the scares dreamed up by director/co-writer Nicolas Pesce are strictly of the creaky old jump-scare variety: Ghosts move in fast-motion and open their mouths really wide, and the soundtrack makes a huge "crash/bang!" Even the familiar ghost Kayako, with her throaty, chittering moan and her threatening locks of hair, is woefully underused here. That said, The Grudge is sometimes saved by inspired moments on behalf of the cast, notably Frankie Faison, whose beautiful speech about the afterlife and connectedness is unfortunately ignored and betrayed by the rest of the movie. In short, this Grudge doesn't budge.

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