It's the Booze Talkin', Don't curse us with another Grudge remake!

I’m going to admit something fairly controversial. I didn’t really enjoy THE RING (2002). You know, the Gore Verbinski flick that was a remake of RINGU - I think I liked that flick just slightly more. That entire period of scares based on J-horror didn’t do much to excite this viewer. And while I did give give a few of the many remakes and sequels a try, I was rarely impressed. Now 2004’s THE GRUDGE was an easy watch for me however. I was already a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the idea attracted me somewhat. After all, I dig haunted places that hold dark secrets that are waiting to be discovered. While I appreciated this probably more than the others, it still wasn’t something that stuck with me. And frankly, once the trend of scary girls with long hair that crawl out of unnatural places ended, I was good. There wasn’t much left to say.

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However, that was then and this is now. J-horror like THE RING, THE GRUDGE, DARK WATER and ONE MISSED CALL among others were all Americanized remakes. So if you dug JU ON, you could catch THE GRUDGE, same with RINGU. As the success of these films - both the original J-horror as well as the remakes - began to falter, horror moved onto yet another trend. And frankly, I was fine with it. With the abundance of scary children terrorizing hot stars and the bad sequels, it was finally time to say goodbye. The popularity of this sub-genre began to fade and we were left with a ton of terrible flicks with only a few that really stood out. Even the excitement for the original films began to fade.

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Back then, remakes were common, but not what they are today. And yes, rarely do iconic horror characters truly die. They stubbornly return looking to scare up as much business as possible. Which of course means it was only a matter of time before we once again saw a filmmaker try their hand at a reboot. With the recent announcement of a brand new THE GRUDGE, it is very likely that this won’t be the first remake of its kind to haunt the local cineplex. So we are looking at yet another adventure of a creepy long-haired woman with her bratty evil child. And hey, why not make another GRUDGE because they have already made a ton of sequels? This begs the question, do we really need another THE GRUDGE?

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Remember when I said that I liked THE GRUDGE? Well, I did. However, I didn’t like it enough for repeat viewings, and I didn’t enjoy this tale of terror enough to inspire me to watch most of the sequels. And frankly it’s hard to imagine anybody caring about one now. A few months ago saw the release of the critically maligned sequel RINGS. Oh my, another pesky video tape. I didn’t see the film. I had no interest or real desire to experience it. However, the reviews and the lack of excitement made it clear that many weren’t thrilled about the sequel - although with a modest budget it did well enough box office wise. So the fact that a bad sequel made money possibly helped convince a studio to remake THE GRUDGE. The madness needs to stop.

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If any of you caught the recent THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, you’ll know that the first time director Nicolas Pesce made a captivating little flick. Gorgeously shot with horrifying on-screen atrocities, this chiller made for one of the most intriguing genre films to come out in recent years. And frankly, that is actually saying something thanks to the strength of some of this and last years best genre efforts - GET OUT, DON’T BREATHE, GREEN ROOM and so on. While the writer/director did wonders with this trippy feature, I question if he would be able to bring something new to yet another remake - and this time a remake of a remake. Can he add something fresh and freaky to the ghost girl and her ghost boy? Well, if anybody could, it may be him. However, I can’t help but feel I’d rather see him try anything else, to be frank.

So they wanna remake THE GRUDGE with a solid director? It could work. But let’s be honest, there are few horror remakes that actually hit a high note, especially for a movie that has already gone that route. Sure THE GRUDGE remake in 2004 was slightly different because it was directed by Takashi Shimizu, the same guy who did the original film and a few sequels. Yet it was still a franchise that wore out its welcome last decade. Will Pesce be able to bring anything interesting to this story of a cursed place causing real horror for those that enter? Perhaps, but I have more excitement for another flick he has coming called PIERCING. Starring Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbot, this feature sounds far more suited to Pesce’s unique style.

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but don’t curse us with a bad remake of THE GRUDGE. Sure, J-horror was the hip fad for quite a few years, but it’s long since been resting peacefully. However, with the RINGS sequel managing to make $83 million worldwide on a $25 million dollar budget, it’s not surprising that we are going to see more. Frankly, the only hope I have is the promise of what Nicolas Pesce can bring because THE EYES OF MY MOTHER was such a strange trip. Even with that, I have little faith in what we are about to see. Remakes can occasionally be terrific of course, but this type of horror was played out and remade and sequelized so damn much a decade ago that it all feels like its just going to be another case of been there and done that. So yeah, I guess I have a bit of a grudge against where this remake may lead us.

Extra Tidbit: Are you interested in a new version of THE GRUDGE?
Source: AITH



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