Shot by Shot with ‘The Grudge’ Trailer

We dig into the beautiful muck of Nicolas Pesce’s latest effort to find a J-horror terror we’re pumped to experience.
The Grudge X
Sony Pictures
By  · Published on October 29th, 2019

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Back to Lin Shaye screaming bloody murder in the kitchen. Of all the images in the trailer, this one unnerves me the most. There is a madness that only Shaye can achieve. Her character seems broken, but happily so.

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Peter Spencer takes the stairs, investigating creeky noises, unaware of his assailant scaling the walls behind him. Based on his wardrobe change, this shot is not from the same scene seen at the start of the trailer, but he could still be in the Rayburn house. The window directly at his back was spotted while Bichir was addressing the unease that he felt whenever he entered the domicile.

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A less crazed, but more terrorized Lin Shaye screams as a goopy ghost drips inside her mouth. Here is her point of infection.

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Tara Westwood as Fiona looks downward at an unsettling sight while a very classic, Ju-On specter silently wails behind her. Franchise originator Takashi Shimizu credits the design of his angry spirits to a Japanese dance group he witnessed as a child. They would paint their nude bodies totally white, and their scurrying across the stage sent shockwaves of fear through his body. Naturally, he weaponized that childhood trauma for his creative benefit.

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The trailer closes out on a classic Grudge-y image. Peter Spencer, in the shower, scrubbing away the grit and grime of the real estate game. However, like Sarah Michelle Gellar before him, the curse reaches out from beneath his hair. The sight is ghastly and born for the poster art, but more importantly, it indicates the difference between a Grudge-haunting and every other horror movie haunting. The Grudge becomes a part of you. There is no flight from it. You’re just a chain linking to the next unfortunate soul to make contact.

The Grudge officially crawls into theaters on January 5, 2020.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)