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Nicholas Pesce
Andrea Riseborough, John Cho, Demián Bichir
Writing Credits:
Nicholas Pesce

A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$11,404,113 on 2642 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
French Dolby 5.1
French Audio Descriptive Service
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 3/24/2020

• “Designing Death” Featurette
• “The Cast of the Cursed” Featurette
• “Easter Egg Haunt” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Grudge [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 25, 2020)

Some argue modern-day Hollywood lacks new ideas. 2020’s The Grudge supports this concept.

The 2004 version already offered an English-language remake of a 2002 Japanese film. This means the 2020 flick offers a weird mix of reboot-sequel.

Still, a lack of creativity doesn’t automatically equal poor quality. Despite the strikes against it, I held out hope the 2020 Grudge might work.

Widowed single mother Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) finds herself absorbed with a case that involves a mix of suspicious murders. When she speaks with potentially crazy imprisoned former police officer Wilson (William Sadler), she grows to believe supernatural forces are at play.

All of this appears to connect to a “cursed” house. Various plot threads coalesce when horrifying events materialize.

That synopsis simplifies matters quite a lot, as Grudge comes with a non-linear narrative that skips across years and characters. For instance, the Muldoon scenes take place in 2006, whereas other parts skip back to 2004 and 2005, and these involve a mix of other characters.

At the very least, this framework means Grudge becomes more ambitious than the average horror flick. In addition, it comes with a much more somber tone than one might expect.

Grief and sadness pervade the tale. In addition to the widowed Muldoon, we find a couple (John Cho and Betty Gilpin) whose unborn child may suffer from severe birth defects, and an elderly couple whereby the wife (Lin Shaye) suffers from such severe dementia that the husband (Frankie Faison) seeks assisted suicide.

That seems like pretty heavy content for a multiplex-intended horror flick. Grudge also goes with an “R” rating, a rarity these days, as so many modern genre movies – like the 2004 version - play it safe and go “PG-13”.

Throw in a quality cast and Grudge shows potential to turn into an above average effort. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to these positives.

Not that I think Grudge turns into a bad movie. It got pretty brutal reviews, and I think those came down too hard on the flick, as I feel its ambitions earn it some respect.

Perhaps the other critics savaged Grudge in part because of those positives, as they set up a level of introspection and depth that it doesn’t produce. Despite all those engaging elements, the movie usually ends up as little more than Just Another Boo-fest.

Part of the problem stems from the non-linear narrative, as the filmmakers can’t make it flow. Sure, it all pulls together – kind of – by the end, but the different story beats butt up against each other in a manner that doesn’t flow.

The various plot bits also fail to get enough room to develop sufficiently. With essentially three main stories, none of them earn the screen time to turn into anything full-fledged, so we’re left with a mix of undercooked character notes that don’t go where they should.

While I appreciate the dark mood of Grudge, this doesn’t manifest much drama in and of itself. A better movie would create an ominous sense of dread that earns its own terror, but that doesn’t happen here.

Without the appropriate tonal impact, Grudge settles for a whole lot of the usual jump scares. Basically the film consists of vaguely menacing moping with out of nowhere jolts.

This never becomes enough to sustain a feature, even one that clocks in at a mere 94 minutes. I respect that the 2020 Grudge manages some strong components, they don’t turn into a winning whole.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

The Grudge appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie boasted a pleasing image.

Overall sharpness worked well. Some wider shots veered a smidgen toward the soft side, but they remained in the minority during this largely accurate presentation.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to become an issue.

In terms of palette, Grudge went a lot of orange/amber and teal, as those tones dominated the presentation. Predictable as the colors tended to be, the Blu-ray rendered them in an appropriate manner.

Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows seemed smooth and concise. I felt happy with this high-quality presentation.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added involvement to the proceedings. The five channels used music in an involving manner, and various effects also broadened the soundscape in a winning way.

While not a film packed with action, Grudge came to life enough to work the speakers well. Various horror elements related to the thrills moved around the room in a convincing pattern to contribute life to the tale.

Audio quality worked well. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and natural. Louder moments boasted fine punch.

Music was warm and full, with a good level of punch from percussive elements. All of this left us with a satisfactory “B” soundtrack.

A few extras fill out the disc, and Designing Death runs three minutes, three seconds. It brings comments from executive producer Schuyler Weiss, writer/director Nicholas Pesce, producer Sam Raimi, makeup effects designer/puppeteer Toby Lindala, cinematographer Zack Galler, and actors John Cho, Lin Shaye and Tara Westwood.

“Death” looks at the ghosts and supernatural elements of the film as well as stunts and effects. We get some good notes, though the featurette feels fairly promotional overall.

The Cast of the Cursed runs three minutes, 44 seconds and features Weiss, Pesce, Raimi, Cho, Shaye, Westwood, Galler, and actors Jacki Weaver, Frankie Faison, Demián Bichir and William Sadler. This one offers a view of cast/characters, though it mostly hypes the film, so don’t expect much from it.

With Easter Egg Haunt, we get a four-minute, 47-second reel that offers notes from Pesce. He leads us through hidden Grudge nuggets found through the movie. We get some fun insights.

Seven Deleted Scenes fill a total of 30 minutes, seven seconds. We get a mix of character notes and scares that add more substantial material than usual. I don’t know how well they would’ve fit the final film, but they present some interesting material.

The disc opens with ads for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Fantasy Island (2020), Bloodshot, Searching, Black and Blue and Brightburn. No trailer for Grudge appears here.

As a reboot of a remake, 2020’s The Grudge comes with more positives than I’d expect. However, it also suffers from too many flaws to develop into a satisfying horror tale. The Blu-ray boasts pretty good picture and audio along with supplements led by a generous collection of deleted scenes. Though not a terrible film, Grudge fails to coalesce.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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