NYCC: The First Clip Of The Grudge Is F'd Up

Yes, the death rattle sound is back.

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Beloved J-Horror franchise The Grudge is getting a brand new, R-rated installment in the form of a not-a-reboot reboot from director Nicholas Pesce and producer Sam Raimi, on track for release on January 2, 2020. Fans at New York Comic Con were treated to a first look teaser and clip alongside a Q&A panel with the film's stars Andrea Riseborogh (Mandy), Betty Gilpin (Glow), and Lin Shaye (Insidious).

In the clip, we saw Shaye's character, Faith, at home in her kitchen. Faith, Shaye explained, is suffering from Alzheimer's and requires care from a home nurse. The nurse entered the scene to find Faith in her kitchen, chopping away at something, unresponsive to the nurse calling her name. As the nurse approaches, we see that Faith isn't alone--she's stabbed her husband in the neck, and he's laying dead by her feet just behind the kitchen counter. And the thing Faith is chopping away at? Her own fingers.

The gore here is care of The Grudge's well earned R-rating, which producer Sam Raimi says is a blessing. "[With the rating, director Nicholas Pesce] can let this really scare the audience," Raimi said during the panel.Pesce, for his part, agrees. "The cool thing about The Grudge movies is that it's a huge tapestry of all these different families surrounding this huge curse and now we have an opportunity to really lean into that deeper character study stuff," Pesce said. "There's definitely a deeper human element to the movie. It's way more f***ed up."

He quickly clarified, "not that the wave of J-horror in the early 2000s wasn't f***ed up, but this one is really f***ed up."

The brief teaser shared with the panel audience explored some of the newer elements of the remake while winking at some of the more iconic shots from The Grudge movies of days gone by--like the image of a ghostly hand reaching out of the hair of a character in the shower. In the new film, the unlucky shower taker is John Cho, who plays the husband of Betty Gilpin's character.

Finding a balance between the new and the old was something Pesce and his collaborators took into careful consideration. "It was a tricky dance--there are certain structural thing. All the movies are nonlinear. All the movies have multiple storylines. The rules of things, like once you set foot in the house you're screwed, the grudge spreading like a virus, and so on. We had to find a balance," the director explained. "This isn't a remake or a reboot in the traditional sense. It was about finding those key elements about how the grudge expresses itself. This can happen anywhere. It spreads like wildfire. We didn't want to throw every familiar thing out, because there are things that are fun for fans to see again--but we wanted to do something new."

The Grudge hits theaters on January 3, 2020.

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