The early 2000s were the times of the explosion of Japanese horror movies based in curses and evil spirits. And the Grudge saga was one of the highest exponents of the movement, having a new title of the series almost every year. It all started with Takashi Shimizu’s Ju-on: The Grudge (2002) and its sequel Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003). Following the success in the Asian country, the filmmaker had the chance to direct the Hollywood adaptations of his home-country titles, and that when Americans The Grudge (2004) and The Grudge 2 (2006) saw the light. Producers even had the chance to release a third Grudge title, this time without Takashi Shimizu on board, and The Grudge 3 (2009) was the closure of the series. At least until now.
Early this year it was announced that a new reboot for the saga was in production. With a total renewed creative team, Grudge (2019) has been filmed and is currently in post-production. Jeff Buhler, the author of the screenplay of upcoming remakes of Jacob’s Ladder (2019) and Pet Sematary (2019), and creator of the Syfy series Nightflyers (2018– ) to be released this December has been in charge to write the reboot. Nicolas Pesce, whose debut film The Eyes of My Mother (2016) was a very personal horror drama that had achieved some nominations and awards in the 2016-2017, and whose latest work Piercing (2018) was present this year at the Sitges Film Festival, is taking care of the directional duties.
The plot of the new movie follows the trails of the previous titles of the saga. A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death. The new home tenants will suffer the consequences of the evil spirit that won’t rest until it considers the revenge is done. Andrea Riseborough, who is becoming one of the most interesting new faces in the horror and mystery scene thanks to her work in Nancy (2018), Nocturnal Animals (2016), Oblivion (2013), and, overall, the astonishing Mandy (2018), is leading the cast. With her, Lin Shaye, Betty Gilpin, John Cho, William Sadler, Jacki Weaver, Demián Bichir, Tara Westwood, Frankie Faison and Joel Marsh Garland also star.
The movie will be distributed by Sony Pictures and it’s been announced that the USA release date has been moved forward to the 21st of June 2019, right at the beginning of the summer season. Surely the intention is to give young audiences an attractive horror title as early as possible to avoid to be eclipsed by other summer releases. And regarding the words of actress Lin Shaye, this could be a yummy candy since she has called the movie “the most terrifying film I have appeared on”. And we must remember this woman has starred some of the most cheered sagas of the last years like the Insidious or Ouija, besides many other titles. Well, we will have to wait and see, but so far this sounds promising!
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