Along with The Ring and others, 2004’s The Grudge, an American remake of the 2002 Japanese horror film Ju-on: The Grudge, was at the crest of Hollywood’s fascination with J-horror. (Fun fact, director Takashi Shimizu helmed both versions.) Since it’s been a few years, it’s time to dust off the familiar IP, this time with Nicolas Pesce in the big chair. He brought a great cast, his fascination with bathtubs, and now we have our first look. Check out the trailer for Sam Raimi-produced The Grudge below.
I have a mixed relationship with Nicolas Pesce’s films. His debut, The Eyes of My Mother, won him great acclaim. While it’s a lovely movie, I find it profoundly empty and that it plays like a bunch of bros trying to come up with “the most messed up thing” in an attempt to shock, but with no weight behind the choices. To me, he felt like a filmmaker with a good eye but who needed a script from an outside source.
For his follow up, Piercing, he adapted Ryu Murakami’s novel and it was, from my point of view, a step in the right direction. Again, I don’t love it like many people, but his skill behind the camera is undeniable and his potential is through the roof.
Which brings us to The Grudge. We can debate whether or not a reboot or revamp is necessary, but this trailer looks promising as all hell. Supernatural horror seems like a good place for Pesce to use his acumen for creepiness, and he’s certainly not one to shy away from disturbing gore and violence. Don’t expect the PG-13-ness of the earlier version.
It’s also been said that, rather than a straight remake, this is another chapter to the story, another tale from The Grudge universe. And like the previous installments, it will reportedly be a kind of anthology, a collection of three narratives that revolve around a single place.
And the cast Pesce assembled rules real hard. Andrea Riseborough plays a detective who investigates a string of deaths that all revolve around a single, cursed house. John Cho looks to play a realtor who has the misfortune to be trying to sell said house. Beyond that the credits also include Jacki Weaver, William Sadler, Lin Shaye, Betty Gilpin, Demian Bichir, and Frankie Faison.
The Grudge kicks off the new year in style, dropping on January 3, 2020.