The Grudge Reboot First Look Released

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(Photo: ALLEN FRASER/SONY)

More than 15 years after Japan's hit horror film The Grudge was rebooted for American audiences with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sony is giving the franchise yet another stateside relaunch. The new rendition of The Grudge is directed by Nicolas Pesce and arrives in theaters this coming January, but it takes things in a slight different direction than its predecessors. This one takes the story to America, rather than sending an American to Japan, and will feature a brand new version of the antagonistic spirit.

On Friday, EW released the first two photos from The Grudge, along with a conversation with the director. Horror audiences can finally get a glimpse of what the rebooted franchise will look like when it arrives next year, and receive a little bit of insight regarding the film's plot.

The first photo from The Grudge reboot shows the horrifying spirit in action. The second features star Demian Bichir, trying to protect himself inside his car while something terrible is happening outside.

the grude reboot 2020
(Photo: ALLEN FRASER/SONY)

Andrea Riseborough plays the lead in the film, taking on the role of a police officer in a new town how comes across a house that has become "grudged," or haunted by the victim of a brutal murder. It takes place at the same time as the 2004 film.

“We follow her, as well as two other storylines, that are all interacting with this grudged house in small town America,” Pesce explained. “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 Grudge franchise has already been rebooted in the past, but Pesce thinks that the mythology behind the story lends itself to multiple iterations.

“The beauty of The Grudge franchise, both the American and Japanese iterations, is it’s an anthology series. Every movie is a different story of different characters having different interactions with this curse,” the director said. “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.”

“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,” Pesce added. “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.”

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The Grudge arrives in theaters on January 3, 2020.