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Nicolas Pesce on his Grudge reboot (that's not a Grudge reboot)

Contributed by
Oct 17, 2018

We can't let go of The Grudge. The J-horror franchise that Ju-On kicked off in 2000 has seen a slew of Japanese sequels as well as an American remake series. Soon, the next chapter will come from emerging horror auteur Nicolas Pesce. But don't call it a reboot.

SYFY FANGRRLS sat down with Pesce at Fantastic Fest about his upcoming thriller Piercing, which made its Texas premiere at the Austin event. We'll have more from that interview coming soon, but we couldn't wait to share what he had to say about Grudge.

"It's going to be very, very, very different things than anyone's expecting for a Grudge reboot," Pesce said with apparent enthusiasm. "I'd say it's another Grudge, not necessarily a reboot. The Japanese films are all an anthology. I'm adding to that anthology. And (my film) is significantly different than the old Grudge movies."

"I would say it's closest to the earliest of the Japanese ones, that were straight to video," he mused. "It's way more grounded, way more human, way more adult and about people. It is not a cheesy scare-fest. It's like what are the things in life that curse us in real life? And how does the supernatural version of us play with that?"

Grudge will star John Cho, Insidious's Lin Shaye, Black Mirror's Andrea Riseborough, The Nun's Demian Bichir, GLOW's Betty Gilpin, and Stoker's Jacki Weaver. "So yeah, it's got a great cast," Pesce said, adding, "It's more close to a movie like Seven than it is to like a J horror movie." He also noted that—unlike PG-13-rated The Grudge 1 & 2— his Grudge will be rated R. Which should come to no surprise to fans familiar with his deeply dark and gruesome debut feature, The Eyes of My Mother.

Asked what he hopes to bring to this sprawling franchise, Pesce said, "A breath of fresh air. There's 12 Grudge movies including the American ones. And I think that the general impression of the Grudge movies is that they're a lesser version of The Ring." 

"I'm trying to do something different with the mechanics that the franchise built," Pesce concluded. "And take all the elements that are necessary for a Grudge movie but do something different with it. Because I think that people don't want to see another J-horror remake that's done like a J-horror movie. It's been 20 years since that worked. So I aim to give the audience a new taste of what that world can look like."

Grudge is currently in post-production and slated to hit theaters August 16, 2019. Piercing hits theaters December 7. 

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