MOVIE TRAILER| The Grudge (2020) — First Impressions|Spoop Fest #7

MOVIE TRAILER| The Grudge (2020) — First Impressions|Spoop Fest #7

What’s up BAYOG Fam! So here I was wondering what I should do for my next Spoop Fest post. I was also scrolling down Twitter when I noticed a video with “The Grudge” and “John Cho”. I was like, “…Wait…Wuht?? WHAT? WTF??” I didn’t even know there was going to be a new reboot. So today’s Spoop Fest post is gonna be a first impression post on the 2020 reboot of The Grudge! It’s also going to bit of a continuation of my [Western Remakes] opinion rant.

Before we get into that though, let’s talk some background info. If you didn’t know, 呪怨/Ju-On (“The Grudge Curse”), is an incredibly famous Japanese horror franchise by Takashi Shimizu. Bruh. There are so many sequels, prequels, etc for this franchise. It’s definitely one of the most famous J-Horror films. Remember when I talked about [western remakes]? That time around the early 2000’s was when Asian horror movies really hit it big. They were hella spoopy. So Hollywood was trying to crank out western remakes of Asian horror films like Ju-On. Some other Asian horror movies that had the western remake treatment included: The Ring, The Eye, Shutter, A Tale of Two Sisters, Pulse, and Dark Water. We’ll get back to this in a bit. Anyways, the first Ju-On related works came out in 1998. They were low budget short films. These shorts were expanded into 2 low-budget short films for television. Those were pretty popular and then a theatrical sequel was released in 2002. Again, Ju-On was hella popular and it’s spawned sooo many other works.

Like I said, it was one of those big Asian horror titles. This was also the time Hollywood was venturing into making western remakes. So Hollywood released their remake The Grudge in 2004. This starred Buffy star, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Look, I was a big Buffy fan and I loved her. However, I wasn’t that impressed by the remake. Like can we talk about how the house is very obviously a stage set? So that kind of broke off me being very into it. However there were some other issues. I don’t know if I can properly explain it (and mostly since I’m lazy, exhausted, and sleep deprived). However, it just felt weird and forced to have a white protagonists thrown into there. I kind of talked about it before, but I feel like for many western remakes they try too hard to force in these Asian settings. I feel like for many of these films, it’s better to make it a bit more original. Really make it “western”, aka just let the setting be in the west. Make it more original feeling, rather than forcing a bad hodgepodge of western cast + the original.

Okay…now let’s actually get into the trailer for the 2020 reboot…

So overall, yeah, this looks spoopy. It sounds spoopy. That iconic death rattle sound… Also that fucking creepy walk or whatever under the bed… Ugh…*shudders*… So yeah, it’s got spoop to it. I think that this version does look grittier than the previous films. I don’t know why the decided another attempt at remaking it, but I admit that it does look to be more promising than the 2004 attempt. The production value definitely looks much better. Funny enough, Sam Raimi, who produced the 2004 remake, produced this as well. The 2004 version was actually directed by Shimizu. However, this version is directed by Nicholas Pesce. So let’s talk about one of the first obvious things. It seems this is to really take place in the States. This is great. This is what I wanted. I think it makes it easier to connect to for a western audience. It’s because these are the kinds of sights we’d see, and the idea that this would be happening here at “home”. Yeah, I know this sets up a weird discussion about, “What about white washing??”

So I think this is one of those things that can still work in a western setting. What I mean to say is that it doesn’t necessarily -HAVE- to be tied to an Asian setting or cast. The whole idea about The Grudge is that the death with a deep and powerful rage creates a curse. That is the grudge of a vengeful spirit. Sure, the original Japanese vengeful spirit is called an onryō. However, the idea of a vengeful spirit is found in every culture. That’s basically what all these kinda spoopy ghost/horror movies are about, yeah? Of course, ANYONE can deal with a vengeful spirit. Vengeful spirits don’t care what the heck you are. Although, judging by the cast on the wiki page, it seems that the vengeful spirit will still be Kayako, a Japanese woman. Don’t know for sure if Toshio, the son, will be a part of this or not. So it seems like that they will most likely keep some of the Japanese beliefs aspect. Which is great. It helps keep some part of the original material. Also, did anyone else notice that the house’s number is 44? 4 is an unlucky number in Japanese and Chinese cultures. It’s because 4 sounds like the word for “death”. I wonder if that was done on purpose?

[Some Spoilers Regarding Ju-On and The Grudge (2004)]

The other thing is Kayako’s story from the Ju-On series can definitely work in a western setting and film. Kayako’s whole story has to do with domestic violence. Kayako’s husband was the incredibly jealous type. Dude hated if she showed any affection for anyone or anything else. He would get angry if she even liked an actor on TV. However, he was full of rage when he found out she was in love with another man, her first love. He was convinced that she was cheating and killed her. Thus causing the curse known as Ju-On. This whole theme works no matter what culture you’re in. These kinds of events can happen to anyone and anywhere. It’s not exclusive to Japanese or Asian culture. Like I said, the idea of a grudge and vengeful spirit is also found in every culture as well. So yeah, it can totally work without forcing Asian elements in a western setting or story.

[End Spoilers]

Again, I think it’s a great move that they’re centering the story in the west. I think it’ll help make it seem less out of reach for the western audience. I’m also excited to see John Cho in this. As an Asian-American, I think it’s great that we’re seeing an Asian lead in a Hollywood movie that doesn’t fall into the typical Asian stereotypes. Heck, even the character’s name is Peter Spencer. It may seem insignificant, but as an Asian-American I see it as a step to breaking barriers. We’ve only seen a little bit from this teaser. However, I think it’s already off to being much better than the 2004 western remake. I’m also excited that this is a win and improvement for Asian-American representation. I’m looking forward to this, and I know my grandma is excited to see this too. What are y’all’s thoughts? Do you think this may have a shot at being good, and to be a successful western remake? Or do you think it’ll bomb? Let me know!

Umaru Chan Scared GIF - UmaruChan Scared Peur GIFs

On a side note…I hate myself for working on this at 2 am…in the dark…with the audio blasting in my headphones….and while staring at a bunch of pictures of Kayako and Toshio on Google images…. Right before I go to bed…
Fuuuuu… Why do I keep doing this to myself???

갓세븐 잭슨 빡셈 빡세다 스트레스 GIF - Jackson Overwhelmed Got7 GIFs

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