The Grudge is one of the scariest horror movie franchises to make the jump from Japan to the United States in recent years. The original Japanese film, Ju-on: The Grudge, came out in 2002. The first American adaptation starring Sarah Michelle Gellar hit theaters in 2004 and scared the pants off people everywhere, myself included.
Now, a new reboot of The Grudge hits theaters in 2020.
The first trailer for The Grudge is here, and it looks totally terrifying. The new reboot will be released in theaters on Jan. 3, so you'll definitely be able to start 2020 off with a bang.
Is 2020's The Grudge a sequel?
It may seem strange that another Grudge movie is already in the works, but I think if you watch the trailer, you will be on board. It looks terrifying, but it's unclear how it fits in with the other films in the universe.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the new Grudge is not exactly a sequel to the 2004 adaptation. In fact, it's supposed to happen at the exact same time as the 2004 movie but across the world, in the U.S. as opposed to in Japan.
If you'll recall, the 2004 Grudge starred Sarah Michelle Gellar as an exchange student in Japan. It was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who also directed the Japanese original, and it was produced by legendary horror producer Sam Raimi, who is also behind the 2020 reboot.
What is The Grudge about?
If you've seen the first two films, you know that the "grudge" is a curse that haunts the location where someone died a violent death. Anyone who enters the home where that person had died becomes haunted by the vengeful spirit.
In the newest reboot, a realtor (John Cho) enters an abandoned house that can't seem to find a buyer because it's, oh, I don't know, creepy AF. Andrea Riseborough plays a detective who learns about the horrible events that took place in the house, unleashing the "grudge" on herself in the process. Jacki Weaver, Demian Bichir, Betty Gilpin, and Lin Shaye round out this impeccable cast of characters.
This concept of The Grudge was extremely compelling to writer/director Nicolas Pesce. "The beauty of The Grudge franchise, both the American and Japanese iterations, is it's an anthology series," he told EW. "Every movie is a different story of different characters having different interactions with the curse. In today's age where we're remaking everything, I thought it would be fun to dive into The Grudge universe where we don't have to remake anything, but rather a new chapter in this canon."
Nicolas Pesce is an up-and-coming horror filmmaker.
His first feature, The Eyes of My Mother, is one of the most disturbing and memorable horror films I have seen in some time. So I trust that Pesce will bring his signature ability to unsettle the mind to a startling degree to the new Grudge movie.
Fan reactions to the new Grudge trailer varied. Riverdale star Lili Reinhart tweeted, "Omg another one??? I couldn't sleep in my own room for like 4 years when I saw the first one."
"Hmmm," another person wrote. "Looks too much like the old ones for me to care... but hopefully they picked stuff up from all the new horror movies that have been stepping up."
Personally, I'm a fan of seeing original stories on screen, but because of the people behind this movie and the actors involved, I'm totally on board. The 2004 Grudge definitely gave me nightmares when I saw it in theaters. I only hope this new one is just as frightening.