The continuation of a horror franchise hardly does justice to Takeshi Shimizu’s original concept which began at the beginning of the millennium (which was remade by him to much financial success back in 2004 staring Sara Michelle Gellar).
This reboot or reawakening (if you prefer) of The Grudge provides an invitation to a haunting, Psychological aura but it just acquiesces to the edgy, lurid flourishes with jumpy scares for spooky effect.
In trying to recapture a bit of the lore of the antecedent co-scenarist and director Nicolas Pesce has new wraiths and characters at his disposal. A murder investigation draws single mother Detective Muldoon.
Having more of the familial in the converging narrative appears enticing but is just obfuscating as opportunity to be involved in their milieu is primarily perfunctory. Spencers want kids, while older Faith and William Matheson (as played by Lin Shaye of Insidious and Frankie Falson) are coping with their more all-to-common particular afflictions. The talented cast includes Demian Bichir, Jacki Weaver and William Sander, but alas, to no avail. Riseborough has the best chance to make an impression but is just lost in the dark.
An olio of concepts won’t cohere and lacking the intimates kind of dread explored in, for example, The Conjuring and its related enterprises. The Grudge is a satisfying beginning of a new year (and decade) will offer. One that really has little chance to connect with even the more discerning onlookers.