Ghost House Bearing Another Grudge?
Ju-On and on and on
Like a chalk-faced, black-haired female ghoul crawling backwards at you across a ceiling, the Grudge franchise refuses to die. Two years after Sam Raimi's Ghost House Pictures denied any possibility of a fourth American instalment, BD have the scoop that The Grudge 4 is indeed in the works.
It's a curse that keeps on being reborn, which is appropriate, given that that's the hook of the entire unwieldy series. Beginning with short films and two Japanese TV movies in the late 90s, director Takashi Shimizu spun the Ju-On tale into two theatrical Japanese features in 2003. He then helmed a Hollywood remake of the first starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in 2004, and stayed around for 2006's The Grudge 2, which again featured Gellar but was a stand-alone movie not based on Ju-On 2. Following this so far?
Then in 2009, we have two new non-Shimizu Japanese entires in Old Lady in White and Girl in Black (released together as Ju-On: White Ghost / Black Ghost), plus the American DTV Grudge 3, directed by Toby Wilkins, starring Shawneee Smith from the Saw films, and Counsellor Deanna Troi (OK, Marina Sirtis).
And that, apart from a Wii game, was the lot, until now. BD are unsure whether we're looking at a reboot or a sequel, but to be honest, given the overlapping and repeated material running through all the films already, it doesn't make a great deal of difference. Thing is, they're never not scary, so expect Kayaoko and Toshio to creep you out in spite of yourselves again sometime in the next year.