Original horror movies have dominated pop culture in the last decade, from Hereditary to Get Out to the entire Conjuring universe. However, just because we’ve seen The Grudge before doesn’t mean that the long-awaited continuation won’t scare us silly. The new red band trailer for the Sam Raimi-produced The Grudge is so horrifying, you probably shouldn’t watch it at work for fear of alienating all your deskmates.
The Grudge franchise tells the story of a death curse, ignited by the vengeful spirit of Kayako (Junko Bailey in this version). The more people come in contact with the spirit — or the spirit of those killed by her — the more people die. It’s basically the worst kind of going viral — you don’t even need to watch a scary videotape in order to become Kayako’s victim. Naturally, that makes for some very disturbing films.
Since my work for the day includes watching the new trailer for The Grudge, I’m well aware that this reboot is a thousand percent scarier than its predecessors. The movie is reportedly set on the same timeline as the 2004 Sarah Michelle Gellar film (which itself was a remake of the 2002 Japanese movie Ju-On: The Grudge) but already it looks bloodier, more chaotic, and just generally more unsettling.
The trailer opens with Andrea Riseborough’s Detective Muldoon speaking with the traumatized Faith, played by Lin Shaye. Given Shaye’s scream queen status — she recently starred in the Ouija and Insidious franchises — you know something horrible is about to go down. Muldoon quickly learns that Shaye’s hands are a bloody mess because she cut off her fingers, and it’s only the second grossest thing to happen in the trailer, because it’s also revealed that her husband is rotting away in front of the television (and clearly has been for quite some time.)
Quick shots at the end of the trailer include ghostly images of a woman with long black hair, oodles of body horror, and John Cho taking a really scary shower.
The R-rating means that the new Grudge can be as graphic as possible in its scares (the previous film was rated PG-13) but it’s really the moments in between the finger amputation that make it so chilling. The tension is really ramped up in this trailer, thanks, in part, to Riseborough’s nuanced performance: She’s trying just as hard as we are to figure out what the hell is going on, and keep her cool when she knows something very, very bad is.
Check out the trailer below, if you dare.
The Grudge hits theaters January 3.