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The Most Important Details In The Grudge Reboot Trailer

Now that it's here, it will never let you go. 

On October 28, Sony Pictures unveiled the first trailer for the upcoming Grudge reboot — an R-rated refresh of the 2004 supernatural horror film of the same name, which itself was an American remake of the 2002 J-horror classic Ju-On: The Grudge

The footage sets up a story that should feel familiar to fans of the property: Suburban couple Peter (John Cho) and Nina Spencer (Betty Gilpin), both real estate agents, are tasked with selling a seemingly normal house. When Peter goes to check up on the sellers, he's lured by the sounds of unsettling moaning into an upstairs bathroom, where a hair of hands reach out from a murky bathtub and grab his face. Peter then contacts Detective Muldoon (Andrea Riseborough), who's investigating a violent death that took place at the house, which she soon discovers is being haunted by a ghost bent on revenge. Like the 2004 version of The Grudge and the film it was inspired by, director Nicolas Pesce's reboot of the property roots itself in the same blood-chilling curse: When someone dies "in the grip of rage," an entity forms — killing everyone who comes in contact with it and passing on the Grudge in an endless cycle. 

That said, it should come as no surprise that the first trailer for the reboot of The Grudge features several references to the films that came before it. Here are the most important details in the Grudge reboot trailer.

Is that Toshio back in the bathtub?

Early on in the trailer for the Grudge reboot, we watch Peter Spencer enter the house he and his wife are selling, head upstairs, and lean down to look at the bathtub mysteriously filled with jet-black water. As he brings his face closer to the tub, a pair of hands break the surface of the water and grab the sides of Peter's head. Cut to black and cue the chills — what the heck just happened there?

Obviously, the entity (or entities) living within the house aren't afraid to make their existence known, and will lash out in any way they can. It's also clear that one of the ghosts is taking hold in the same location where a supernatural beast present in The Grudge liked to hide out: the bathroom. Specifically, it was Toshio — the dead son of Takeo Saeki, who killed his wife Kayako (and their family cat Mar) after discovering she was in love with another man. In Ju-On: The Grudge, it's only assumed that Takeo also killed Toshio, since the boy reemerges as a pain-riddled ghost that assists his mother Kayako in killing those who enter their Tokyo home. In 2004's The Grudge, however, it's shown that Takeo did murder Toshio... by drowning him... in the bathtub. In the American Grudge franchise, Toshio literally gets his hands on a number of people, grabbing his victims and pulling them into the tub where he died. 

The Grudge reboot director Nicolas Pesce previously explained to IGN that the drowning motif "keeps coming back" throughout the new film, given that "the nature of the bathtub is that part of the initial crime that started this all was a drowning." But is the evil spirit shown in the bathtub within the first Grudge reboot trailer actually Toshio, or is it another entity entirely? Pesce noted — this time to Collider — that the Grudge reboot takes place at a "slightly different" time than the other flicks, so there's a chance that the body in the bathtub is indeed Toshio, who may have resurfaced in a new location to continue haunting the innocent. 

Pair that information with the fact that the trailer also includes a shot of what appears to be a young boy peeking over the edge of the bathtub, and it's looking like Toshio will make a grisly comeback in the new Grudge movie.

It looks like Kayako appears in the trailer for The Grudge

On the subject of horrifying spirits from the Grudge franchise that are seemingly a part of the upcoming reboot, it looks as though Toshio's murdered mother, Kayako, also appears in the trailer for the flick. There's a moment that shows a character named Fiona (Tara Westwood) walking in broad daylight, unaware that a ghost is behind her. With her white skin, black hair draped over her face, and dropped-open mouth, the spirit bears a striking resemblance to Kayako — whose presence is also felt later in the trailer, when we see a body tumbling down the center of a stairwell. Both fans of Ju-On: The Grudge and The Grudge alike — as well as people who have never seen the films before — will know that Kayako has a strong connection to stairs: she famously crawled down them in the most nightmarish of manners as she was closing in on one of her victims. Maybe she's the one who threw the body down the stairwell, or perhaps her appearance caused the person to leap to their death. 

Pesce has confirmed that the curse happening in the U.S. "is connected to the one in Japan," and teased that it had "been brought" to the country. "The Grudge is kind of like a virus — it spreads and is contagious," Pesce told IGN. "So much of what we wanted to do with this movie is show that, yes, you know very well what's been happening in Japan, but what you don't realize is this is happening in other places too, and it's not just contained to this one house in Japan. It's here and it's here and it's here, and it's everywhere."

Perhaps someone who was in contact with Toshio and Kayako in Japan — knowingly or not — took the curse and both entities back home with them. Or maybe the virus-like Grudge spread in a different way, and the woman and young boy in the Grudge reboot trailer are two wholly new ghosts out for vengeance. Our money's on the first option, though.

You've seen the creepy cackling lady from The Grudge reboot before

Not only does the first trailer for the Grudge reboot include elements characteristic of the property as a whole — a "Grudged" house, terrifying entities skittering across floors and up walls and under beds, a woman being drowned, and two ghosts that seem to be the same ones from films past — but it also includes a face you'll find familiar if you're a fan of horror movies. 

At several points in the footage, including the pre-roll stinger, we see a gray-haired woman on the brink of insanity. She's first shown laughing maniacally in a kitchen with blood running down her chin and neck. She then pops up looking less human than before — with her hands blackened and curled up, her eyes sunken in, and her mouth dropped open in a pained yell. 

This character may be a new one in the Grudge universe, but the actress who plays her has been at the horror game for decades now. She's Lin Shaye, a bonafide scream queen who has appeared in films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, CrittersAmityville: A New Generation, Dead End, Alone in the Dark, Tales of Halloween, OuijaOuija: Origin of Evil, and, perhaps most famously, Insidious. This time around, Shaye plays the creepy cackling woman named Faith Matheson — who's clearly affected by the Grudge in some way, and may even be revealed as the original owner of the house where the curse has taken hold. Did see bring the Grudge to the States from Japan? Is she the woman who committed the murder in the Grudged home? We suspect Faith will be a major player in the upcoming movie.

The final shot of the Grudge reboot trailer is incredibly significant

You know what they say: go big or go home. The first Grudge reboot trailer chose wisely and went big — and then went out with a bang in its closing shot. 

During the final five seconds of the footage, John Cho's character Peter Spencer is shown showering and washing his hair. The scene itself is a callback to the one from 2004's The Grudge, during which Sarah Michelle Gellar's character Karen Davis is rinsing shampoo out of her hair when she suddenly feels a set of fingers sticking out from the back of her head — another sign that she's being "Grudged." This is exactly what happens to Peter when he's scrubba-dubbing in the shower: some dead-looking fingers emerge from his skull and grip his hair. 

The director of 2020's The Grudge has confirmed that this motif is just as important in the upcoming movie as it was in past films: "This image of this hand coming out of your own head in your own hair but that doesn't belong to you is this physically invasive force that at your most vulnerable, naked in the shower with your eyes closed, is when it's going to get you. It's always just been such a powerful image that symbolizes what the Grudge does to you."

If this first trailer didn't scare you away, catch The Grudge in theaters on January 3, 2020.