Early next year horror movie fans will have an opportunity to dive back into a very familiar property when The Grudge returns to the big screen. The franchise that began in Japan has seen one American version already, but the new movie is neither remake, nor, strictly speaking, a reboot. Instead, it’s something of its own animal, though it will honor the films that came before it.
In 2004 The Grudge was an American remake of the Japanese film Ju-On which followed multiple characters through loosely connected, non-linear stories, as they all dealt with a curse brought about by a traumatic and violent event. The new Grudge, coming to theaters next year, won’t be telling exactly the same stories as the original franchise, but, as producer Schuyler Weiss explained when I had the chance to visit the set of The Grudge last year, the new movie will contain a number of plot elements that fans of the franchise will recognize. According to Weiss…
While many of the elements of The Grudge might look the same, everybody involved in the new movie was clear that this is very much a new movie. The plot will abide by the same rules of the previous Japanese and American Grudge movies, in the way that the curse is created and the way that it acts, but the characters and their stories are all new.
Which is not to say that the new Grudge is going to completely ignore the previous films having existed. Schuyler Weiss went on to say that the new movie will contain some easter egg style references, though he warned that some of them may only be noticeable by the most serious fans of the franchise.
Unsurprisingly. nobody was particularly open to mentioning what those easter eggs would be, they want to keep them secret do the fans can be surprised. Although, the director of the new Grudge, Nicolas Pesce, who also wrote the screenplay, did eventually what one of the easter eggs would be, though he made sure to be vague, and gave no indication of how the reference would be made.
It could be a line a character says, or it could be something physical, a prop in the background of a shot. And there are so many different ways that the reference could be made, it’s difficult to even guess what fans will need to look for.
So, if you’re a fan of The Grudge franchise, you’ll have to keep your eyes and ears peeled to try and find whatever hidden references have been planted. Nicolas Pesce is an obvious fan of the Ju-On series and he wants to make something that other fans will appreciate. We’ll see just how successful he has been when The Grudge returns on January 3.