The Grudge Reboot

I remember when I first watched The Grudge, what I remember the most was the feeling it gave me that forced me to hide underneath my bed covers for about two weeks afterwards. The 2004 supernatural horror film which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was the American version of the ‘Ju-On: The Grudge’ Japanese horror franchise – both directed by Takashi Shimizu – never let up, and kept you guessing at where the next horrifying ghostly face would appear next. The plot was based around the murder of a family, who, after their death, held a terrible grudge that brought terror and death upon anyone who came into contact with the murder scene. Although it may have had more of an effect on me when I was younger, the film still stands strong in the horror genre today as it did on its release.


The Japanese version of the franchise is still on the go, however the American one stopped in 2009 with the third instalment which failed to dazzle audiences in the same way that the first and second did. So what is the answer to this? A reboot of course. I for one feel it is too early for an American remake of The Grudge, with the first only being released in 2004. But Hollywood seem persistent on remaking horror franchises and have thrown some big names behind the project.

As well the amazing Sam Raimi being attached and his Ghost House Pictures company, Jeff Bhuler – The Midnight Meat Train writer – is set on for writing the script for the film. There is no word on whether Takashi Shimizu is set to return to his franchise or what the actual story line is going to be. Our hope lay in the hands of the already busy scheduled Sam Raimi, among others.

Icon Of Horror: John Kramer/Jigsaw

Everything that goes into a horror film creates that feeling of fear, whether it’s the dialogue, settings, make-up or music. One thing is certain though, it is the main antagonist which gives us the ‘heebie jeebies’ the most; the way they talk, the way they move, how they kill and their back-story are all aspects which entice us to view their films. Where would horror be without its horror icons.

I’m sure a lot of horror fans are on the fence with the ‘Saw’ franchise, many saying that while the first film was great, they gradually went downhill from there. I couldn’t disagree more, while I do think that the first was the best due to its originality, the rest still kept me watching and wanting more.


The main reason for this was because of the clever, ruthless and psychopathic villain of the franchise, ‘John Kramer’ – better known as the ‘Jigsaw’ killer (played by Tobin Bell). I don’t know where to start, firstly the way he kills his victims is just so imaginative, due to his former work as a civil engineer, Kramer is able to create amazing pieces of machinery in order to trap and torture his individuals. After being done with them he cuts a jigsaw puzzle piece out of their flesh to signify that a piece of them was missing. Their survival instinct.

Although an elderly man, do not doubt the power of Kramer’s mind. He has the audience and the characters all guessing at what to expect next in his labyrinth of complex puzzles and mazes – which he refers to as his ‘games’. He challenges his victims to try as hard as they can to save themselves, some do…but most don’t. The scariest thing is that he has created a puzzle so large and with so many people involved in it that even after his death, his games continue.

Although Kramer comes across as being a completely sadistic killer, as the story continues throughout the films we uncover that, after he lost his baby and found out that he had developed a tumour, he attempted to kill himself in a car crash. Failing this he came out with a new outlook on life, he decided that he wanted to help people. However he thought that the best way to do that was to torture them in machines, proving whether they want to live or die. He sees himself as giving his victims a second chance after they have made a huge mistake in their lives. Trying to make them appreciate their life, and get rid of their own demons.


One of the most iconic parts about Kramer is the fact that he never shows his face to his victims, he just uses a doll on a tricycle to do the talking for him. Imagine it, waking up in a strange, cold room, connected to some form of industrial machinery that could potentially kill you, and then a TV set turns on with the face of a creepy doll and a low-key grainy voice which tells you what is about to happen. As soon as you here the classic ‘I want to play a game’ quote, you know what is coming.

Let the games begin…

Original Tag Line: How Much Blood Would You Shed To Stay Alive?

Film Franchise List:

Saw – 2004

Saw 2 – 2005

Saw 3 – 2006

Saw 4 – 2007

Saw 5 – 2008

Saw 6 – 2009

Saw: The Final Chapter – 2010