Sony has released the trailer for its R-rated, Sam Raimi produced reboot of The Grudge franchise. After spending years in early development and going through a couple release date changes, the new Grudge is finally set to arrive in 2020, with director Nicolas Pesce making his first foray into mainstream horror after his debut on the arthouse thriller The Eyes of My Mother and this year's indie horror-comedy Piercing.
In terms of plot, Pesce has described The Grudge (which he cowrote with The Prodigy and Pet Sematary  writer Jeff Buhler) as a Se7en-style crime film starring Andrea Riseborough as a young detective who stumbles upon a "grudged" house while investigating a suspicious death. Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Jacki Weaver, and Insidious' Lin Shaye also play key roles in the movie, which only recently kicked off its marketing.
The official trailer for The Grudge has now dropped online, and is expected to screen in theaters with many of the bigger films (including its fellow horror movie, Doctor Sleep) releasing over the weeks ahead. You can check it out in the space below (via Sony Pictures).
Both the trailer and poster for The Grudge pay homage to one of the more memorably horrific visuals from the 2004 U.S. Grudge remake, with the twist being that Cho's character (an unsuspecting real estate agent) is the one who has a ghostly hand coming out of his hair in the shower this time, as opposed to Sarah Michelle Gellar from the remake. Interestingly, during an interview with IGN, Pesce claimed his reboot is "not divorced from the greater canon" and contains various easter eggs (including, an important phone conversation) that connect it to the 2004 Grudge and the Japanese Ju-On: The Grudge films before it. Those aren't the only links either, as Pesce previously confirmed The Grudge (2020) takes place at the same time as the 2004 remake and features "a lot of subtle clever places where the movies overlap", as he told IGN.
Much like his first two films, Pesce's The Grudge is a pastiche that draws inspiration from classic horror movies and sub-genres, with The Exorcist and 1980's The Changeling being the two examples the filmmaker name-dropped in his interview with IGN. The trailer has elements of both a crime procedural in the vein of Se7en and a haunted house film (like Pesce said), which helps to spice up what seems like a more bloody and graphic, but otherwise familiar refashioning of the U.S. and Japanese Grudge franchises so far. And while the reboot's early January release date isn't all that encouraging, that weekend has provided audiences with some quality B-grade horror offerings in the past two years (with Insidious: The Last Key and Escape Room), and may yet do the same when The Grudge returns in 2020.
- The Grudge (2020) release date: Jan 03, 2020