Film critic Gary DeWaard keeps up with the latest Hollywood news to inform his audience of upcoming films worth checking out in theaters and the buzzworthy talk surrounding them. Below, he helps readers understand what to expect from Ghost House Pictures’ reboot of the widely-popular Japanese horror film franchise The Grudge next year.
Gary DeWaard is a film industry fanatic––especially of horror films from producers like Blumhouse Pictures and A24. After years of industry rumors of a potential reboot of the Japanese horror film franchise The Grudge, Ghost House Pictures released the first trailer for their latest installment just a few weeks ago to wide acclaim.
Already, films of the franchise are buzzing about the bold new direction Sam Raimi and partner producers have taken on the project and laud the film for its style and casting. Gary DeWaard has followed the franchise closely ever since talks of a reboot began nearly ten years back.
“There has been talk about which company will pick up the franchise and reimagine it for future generations as far back as 2010, but discussions only became more serious around 2014,” says Gary DeWaard. “A script was developed and reworked again and again before being scrapped altogether for a new direction. And from the trailer alone, it looks like the film finally landed with the right people.”
The franchise began in 2000 when director Takashi Shimizu released his horrifying vision of a domestic murder that reflected onto local residents through the ghosts of its victims. This film, Ju-On: the Curse, spawned the franchise though it was only a limited-release movie running just over an hour long. Gary DeWaard tells us that Shimizu followed up with Ju-On: the Grudge in 2002, which took the franchise to new heights and introduced his films to an international audience.
Just two years later, Shimizu teamed up with Hollywood producers to recreate his film for America. He cast Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I Know What You Did Last Summer) to helm the cast of his 2004 film and encountered huge success with horror fans. He completed a sequel a couple of years later before leaving the American franchise, though a third installment was later created and released straight to DVD.
“The 2020 reboot of The Grudge was directed by Nicolas Pesce and produced by Sam Raimi, though the team has been very careful to stay true to Shimizu’s original vision,” says Gary DeWaard. “It’s supposedly a much darker and grittier version of the film with similar plot events, and we’ve recently learned that it will take place around the same time––if not at the exact same moments––of the events of the 2004 film.”
The Grudge will follow the life of a single mother and young detective who discovers a suburban house that’s cursed by the infamous vengeful ghost of the franchise. The film is set to release on January 3, 2020.