“The Grudge” (Screen Gems)
By Catholic News Service
Drab second English-language remake of a hit 2003 Japanese horror tale about a haunted house whose malign influence infects and follows all who enter it. This time out, the most prominent of its ensemble of victims is a recently widowed police detective (Andrea Riseborough). As she and her troubled partner (Demian Bichir) investigate the death of a specialist in assisted suicide (Jacki Weaver), the stories of others accursed by the dwelling are traced, including a young realtor (John Cho), his pregnant wife (Betty Gilpin), the elderly couple (Lin Shaye and Frankie Faison) who sought the euthanasia practitioner’s services and an ex-cop (William Sadler) confined to an insane asylum.
Failing skillfully to interweave his various narratives, writer-director Nicolas Pesce bids for audience attention with ever bloodier deaths and ever more hideous sights.
Excessive gory violence, gruesome images, mature themes, including the implicit possibility of an abortion, a couple of profanities, at least one milder oath, a few rough and several crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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