Sam Raimi’s remake/reboot of his cult breakout horror movie Evil Dead was a modest success last year, and the filmmaker is also backing the upcoming Poltergeist remake through his Ghost House Productions banner. Next item on Raimi’s makeover agenda? The Grudge, the 2004 horror flick that is actually a Hollywood-ized remake of the 2002 Japanese creepfest Ju-on: The Grudge.
Deadline says that most of the producers on the original Grudge installment – that includes GHP co-founder Robert G. Tapert and Roy Lee (who’s produced most of the J-horror remakes from the last decade) – will also be involved on the reboot, some under the Good Universe banner (the Oldboy American redo). The script is being penned by Midnight Meat Train screenwriter Jeff Buhler, whom you may recall was also recruited to write a Jacob’s Ladder remake last year.
The Grudge, for those unfamiliar (or who’ve forgotten), stars ex-vampire slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar as an American exchange student living in Tokyo (a nod to the story’s Asian origins), where she inadvertently becomes afflicted by a terrifying curse – a terrible supernatural force, which is spawned by a person who died in the grips of either a powerful rage or sorrow. That film was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who remade his original Ju-on film to healthy box office returns ($187 million worldwide on a $10 million budget).
Truth be told, a reboot of The Grudge probably won’t be regarded as sacrilegious as other developing horror remakes. The 2004 film wasn’t a critical darling to begin with; it attempted to match the artistic success of Gore Verbinski’s J-horror remake The Ring from two years earlier, yet was by and large considered a less sophisticated entry to what was then the newly-established “Americanized J-horror” sub-genre. (That’s to mention nothing of its universally-panned sequel and the direct-to-DVD third Grudge installment.)
It’s safe to say the “American J-horror” craze of the aughts has run it course, so maybe the creative minds behind the Grudge reboot will be more daring with how they re-contextualize and re-invent the original premise this second time around. Let us know if that sounds interesting to you – or if the Grudge franchise in general (pending a radical change) just isn’t your cup of tea.
We’ll keep you updated on The Grudge reboot as the story develops.