In 2004, while Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was busy confronting the ghost of a brutally murdered woman in Tokyo, apparently there was someone else across the pond with their own grudge. Next year’s entry in The Grudge series won’t just be a spiritual successor to Takashi Shimizu’s franchise — it’ll be happening alongside it.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the latest Sam Raimi-produced Grudge film takes place at the same time as the 2004 American remake of Ju-on, which was directed by Shimizu, the man behind the original series.
But instead of taking place in Japan, the new Grudge is happening concurrently in a small town in the United States.
The film centres around a cop named Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) whose job leads her to investigate an old home that has been “grudged”. Her storyline will interweave with two others, told at slightly different times, centring around the house and what happened to the people in it.
In an interview with EW, director Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) described The Grudge as an “anthology series”, so this film is a continuation of the franchise rather than a reboot or remake.
However, there are some complications with that. Shimizu is not involved, even though he directed The Grudge and Grudge 2 and served as an executive producer on the third one. Also, Ju-on writer and producer Taka Ichise filed a lawsuit last year claiming the production company denied him a producer credit (he is now listed).
For being a movie set in this anthology series, it’s done a lot of things that have separated it from its origins.
“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,” Pesce 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.”
The Grudge arrives in cinemas on 30 January 2020.