Looks like the upcoming Grudge reboot has taken more liberties than previously expected! The film’s director, Nicholas Pesce, recently revealed some unlikely inspiration for the film – a cop drama!

In an interview with EW, Pesce gave an update on his approach to directing the new Grudge film, and giving audiences an idea of how it differs from earlier entries.

“I think that horror audiences these days are looking for a much more grounded, much more realistic, much more character-driven story in their horror movies,” Pesce said. “The new movie is set up a lot more like Seven, that sort of movie.”


For those who may be unfamiliar with the series history, the Grudge can be traced back all the way to the 2000 J-horror film Ju-On: The Curse. In the film, a house is marred by a terribly curse and the vengeful spirit of Kayako. One by one, every character who sets foot in the house will be hunted by the supernatural force.

Several years later in the early to mid 2000’s, J-horror remakes became the new hit horror craze in the U.S after the popularity of The Ring (2002) with movies like Dark Water (2005), Pulse (2006), and One Missed Call (2008), all getting tuned for a Western audience. While a few were a hit with audience’s and other’s were a definite miss, The Grudge (2004) managed to stand the test the time as a modern horror classic. Since then there have been two U.S. sequels each following a set of new characters. While there hasn’t been a new American interpretation in almost ten years, there was a recent and wonderfully insane crossover movie with Ringu (1998) entitled Sadako vs. Kayako (2016).

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From what Pesce said about his vision for the film, it sounds like he sees that audiences and critics have responded well to the more character-driven horror films we’ve gotten in recent years. Films such as Hereditary (2018), The Babadook (2014), A Quite Place (2018), and Get Out (2017) have all been, in their own way, grounded character pieces that just so happen to be horror movies. By comparing his Grudge idea to likes of something like David Fincher’s masterpiece of dread Seven (1995) it seems like he hopes to put a new spin on the long running series and use it as a chance to explore deeper themes while at the same time scaring the pants off moviegoers.

Grudge, the movie not the ghost, is scheduled to come to a theater near you on January 3rd, 2020.