‘The Grudge’ Director Nicolas Pesce and Cast Discuss Their New Film at NYCC 2019 Panel

Writer/director Nicolas Pesce, legendary producer/director Sam Raimi, and principal cast members Betty Gilpin, Lin Shaye, and Andrea Riseborough delivered the first trailer for 2020’s remake of The Grudge, along with some hints at what the film will deliver to audiences, at 2019’s New York Comic Con Panel.

The main hall panel (moderated by IGN’s Terri Schwartz) revealed many aspects of the new film, with one of the biggest being the fact this version of The Grudge will indeed be rated R.  Pesce (who Raimi called a “visionary director”) stressed this fact, and that “…something that is really exciting is that audiences are so much more welcoming of the family drama, infused with horror” and described the film as a “tapestry” that allows for “…deeper character studies and human character narrative, and a way more fucked up Grudge.”

Horror veteran Lin Shaye (Insidious) praised Pesce’s directing skills, stating that “Nicolas was an extraordinary director to work with.”  Shaye also described her character in The Grudge as a person struggling with Alzheimer’s and a “…lovely woman who becomes infected and it does terrible things to her.”  When asked about her role in the film and the ever increasing roles for women in horror, the actor said that “Fear is genderless and something that everyone can experience…”, especially in “…a theater full of strangers, with a collaborative scream; a taboo experience in public.”

Andrea Riseborough (who portrays the detective who stumble upon a horrific scene in Shaye’s kitchen) stressed that she did not like watching horror films, especially ones that she appears in.  Riseborough did say that she could identify with domesticity of her character (who aside from being a police officer is also a mother) and is a character that “even in the darkest of times has a very deep connection with her child.”

Betty Gilpin (who didn’t appear in most of the footage from the film shown during the panel) also portrays a mother in distress, but one primarily fearful at the thought of becoming one.  She also discussed how acting in a horror film is different than other genres because “…either you’re scared or not” and that there are no minimalist performances in horror films.

Raimi (the panelist who received the most questions during the audience Q and A) was asked how to make a competent sequel and he reponded by saying that as a man who “…made a lot of sequels, the key is investing in the characters” and that it helps when the cast and crew is made up of “actors of this caliber.”

The Grudge will debut on January 3, 2002.


Nick Banks
Nick Banks
Nick joined the website in 2015. His lifelong love of comics and horror began with Universal Monsters and the Incredible Hulk. He has fond memories of going to Waldbaum’s supermarket with his mother and being rewarded with a 3-pack of sealed comics. It’s been all downhill from there… Since those early days, his life has been immersed in four color action and scares on the silver screen.

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