Based on the Japanese horror flick, Ju-On: The Grudge, this latest film (also a sequel to the 2004 movie) is yet another dose of uninspiring drama. Cliche can be the only word to describe The Grudge 2020 as it does not offer anything new, except a bunch of typical scary sequences all squeezed together in an overused screenplay.
The story revolves around detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough) who solves mysterious deaths that occur in a creepy dark home at 44 Rayburn Drive. comes. She also comes across a charred body in a high way. What happens next is Muldoon trying to piece the clues together. But unfortunately, the audience is always two steps ahead. Similar to other films of the series, Grudge 2020 has its plot depicted in a non-linear fashion, showing story lines of different families terrorised by the ghosts.
When detectives Goodman and Wilson, played by Demián Bichir and William Sadler step in to investigate murders of the Landers Family at Reyburn Drive, Wilson is soon haunted by a dark figure. You can expect what happens to him eventually. But their performances as disturbed cops holds you up close.
Likewise, real estate agents and couple, Peter (John Cho) and Nina Spencer (Betty Gilpin) get mixed in this horror when Peter steps into Reyburn Drive hoping to sell the property. He decides to stay put after coming across a young girl named Melinda. What follows next is a cat and mouse game of jump scares.
We are also introduced to early residents of Reyburn Drive, the elderly couple Faith and William Matheson, portrayed by scream queen Lin Shaye (known for her performances in the Insidious series) and Frankie Faison, all cursed by the ghosts. As Muldoon pieces all these clues together, she too is sucked into the arms of evil.
The screenwriter and director Nicolas Pesce relies too much on jump scares which you can expect right before they appear. However, the cast performance, the dark atmosphere and gory murders is pretty queasy and convincing. If the director had focused more on the screenplay with a stronger plot and a tighter suspense, then The Grudge 2020 may have been a scare fest.