A reboot of the ghostly 2004 horror flick The Grudge—which itself was a remake of Japan’s Ju-on: The Grudge—has been in the works since at least 2011, two years after the no good, very bad The Grudge 3 went straight to video. Finally, EW is here with a few concrete details and an interview with director Nicolas Pesce. The film is called Grudge, and the first images reveal a new horror played by Tara Westwood doing her terrifying thing right up in Lin Shaye‘s face. Why are ghosts always screaming at Lin Shaye? Lin Shaye does not deserve this.
Though Grudge is set in America, it takes place at the same time as the 2004 film set in Japan directed by Takashi Shimizu and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. For the reboot, Mandy star Andrea Riseborough plays a cop investigating a case that leads her to a house inflicted with a terrible curse. Pesce went into further detail:
“We follow her, as well as two other storylines, that are all interacting with this grudged house in small town America…Like the old films, it’s a tapestry of three different stories that interweave and all take place at slightly different times, centered around this one house that’s at the center of this case that this cop is working on.”
The director also described what makes The Grudge series so enduringly frightening, noting the lack of your classic “creepy, Gothic-looking house” to highlight the sinister nature of suburbia.
“I think the most compelling thing about the grudge is that it’s inescapable. All you need to do is walk into a house that feels unassuming, and you’re screwed…It’s not your traditional haunted house movie where you pull up to a creepy, Gothic-looking house and go, ‘oh god that’s haunted.’ A motif of all the films, especially this one, is that behind the most normal kind of house, inside the most normal-seeming life, there can be something horrifying — whether it’s real and grounded, or something otherworldly and terrifying, it can happen anywhere, behind any door, to anyone. It’s unique to this story and philosophically terrifying.”
Check out the images below. The Grudge reboot—which stars Betty Gilpin, Demián Bichir, John Cho, and Jacki Weaver—is set to hit theaters on January 3, 2020.