‘The Grudge’ Lacks Creativity and Diversity

Many people have recreated stories, urban legends, or myths and have made them into movies. This is where directors, producers, writers, and even actors get some of their ideas to create something new or to add a twist to the original idea. This concept has been used many times most commonly by Disney with their animated princesses originally based on stories, myths, and historical people. They have remade multiple originals into live-action movies for the younger generation to watch and also for the adults that grew up watching Disney enjoy. However, some people have tried to recreate a story in movies and failed terribly with their execution.

The Grudge has to be the corniest, predictable, over-dramatized, and over-hyped movie I have ever seen. I wouldn’t categorize this movie as horror because it isn’t scary.

The Grudge was made in 2020 and was inspired by a Japanese urban legend. The legend goes that a young, shy girl by the name Kayako falls in love with a man, Taeko Saeki, who gets married and then has a son named Toshio. Because Kayako was too shy to talk to men, she would write in her diary about her random crushes. Taeko finds her diary one day and believed his wife was cheating on him, so he then attacks her with a kitchen knife by stabbing her, cutting her throat, then snapping her neck. She was then stuffed in the attic and then Taeko drowns Toshio in the bathtub. Kayako then comes back as a vengeful ghost and hangs Taeko with her long black hair and now anyone who comes in contact with her will die.

This urban legend was recreated in 2004 in a movie also unironically named The GrudgeComparing the new film made in 2020 to the one made in 2004, it seems like they have the exact same plot. They both start off with an American moving to Japan to take care of a mentally ill woman and ends with the main character trying to burn down the house to get rid of the evil spirits, but unfortunately dies. The jump-scares were too predictable and over-dramatized and the character development for each character was plain and dull making the movie terribly boring. The scriptwriting also seems very banal and tasteless with its corny lines. The Grudge was unoriginal and lacked creativity.

The lack of diversity is absolutely pitiful and it’s pathetic to take a piece of someone’s culture and not give them representation.”

— Mariam Alashmawi

One thing that the movie didn’t lack was great actors. The acting was decent, however, it could’ve been better if there was more character development. Although the acting was good, the cast didn’t seem very diverse and lacked representation. Since the setting is in Japan and the urban legend originates in Japan, a strong assumption would be made that majority of the cast would be Asian or Asian-American. Well, not for this cast. The majority of the actors were actually Caucasian, which leaves me to wonder why they didn’t give people from Asian descent the representation they rightfully deserve in this film? There were only two Asian actors and one African-American actor in the film. The lack of diversity is absolutely pitiful and it’s pathetic to take a piece of someone’s culture and not give them representation. I’ve seen this mistake in many past films, however, it’s 2020 and it’s time to stop culturally appropriating films to fit American customs.

People that have enjoyed the movie have said that it was filled with “dark humor” and was “very original.” The problem with these statements is the fact that this was a movie literally copied and pasted. The writers took an idea from the urban legend and a movie made in 2004 and none of the scenes left an ever-lasting effect or memory for me. I could barely tell if there was any dark humor in the movie because it was boring. The excitement wasn’t there and that’s exactly why it wouldn’t be considered a scary movie.

In conclusion, this movie was a waste of time to watch. It lacked a theme, plot-twists, jump-scares, diversity, originality, and representation. If I were to rate this movie from 1-10, I would give it -3 and that’s being generous. What they could’ve done to make the film more interesting was hire more Asian/Asian-American actors, add more personality diversity to the characters so they didn’t seem so bland, changed the beginning and end of the movie so didn’t seem like they copying another film that was a lot better, add more jump-scares that weren’t so predictable and they could’ve added their little twist on the urban legend while still being respectful of someone’s culture. -3/10

Did you think The Grudge was a good horror movie?

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