John Cho and Betty Gilpin Must Counter The Curse in ‘The Grudge’

John Cho and Betty Gilpin play the role of husband and wife caught up in a curse that they would have to reverse to survive.

John Cho (Searching, Star Trek films) and Betty Gilpin (Netfix’s GLOW, Masters of Sex) star as husband and wife who encounter a terrifying curse in Columbia Pictures’ new horror thriller The Grudge (in Philippine cinemas January 15).

The Grudge presupposes that when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage, a curse is born. The curse gathers in the place of death, and those who encounter it will be consumed by its fury. In the film, that place of death is the Reyburn house.

The first person to enter the Reyburn house after the previous murders there (and the establishment of the curse) is Peter Spencer (Cho).  Peter and his wife, Nina (Gilpin), have a local real estate business together.  Both in their early 40s, they put off becoming parents, and now that Nina has found herself pregnant, they must face the prospect of parenthood.

Cho, often known for comedic roles, was immediately taken with the script and the story.  “These sorts of adult situations, kind of real life horrors, are absent in cinema right now,” he informs.  “This felt like an adult role.  And the rest of the cast are grownups.  It felt like, with the help of the genre, we were telling a story that just is not being told in movies today.  It felt fresh, it felt grounded, and I thought it was a subversive way to do it.  And I just thought that was cool.”

Gilpin’s character, Nina, is “a really challenging role,” says producer Schuyler Weiss, “because she is a woman wrestling with a very difficult, real world decision, about trying to have a child and all the stress and anxiety that goes with that, and not being on the same page as her spouse.  And she is ultimately the victim of the Grudge, through her husband. But Betty was able to make this character so much more than just a victim in the story.  You’re really drawn into her drama.  She makes Nina a three-dimensional character, which makes it much more powerful when the Spencer family tragedy happens.”


Cho agrees.  “She makes very truthful, unusual choices, and I just believe her as someone who’s struggling with motherhood.  And it’s tough to play, but she does it well, her intense, competing desires of wanting to be a mother and not wanting to be a mother. I see the pain in her, as she’s struggling with the guilt.  She’s just great.”

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The Grudge is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.  Connect with the hashtag #TheGrudge

About The Grudge

Producer Sam Raimi brings us a twisted new take of the horror classic.

Directed by Nicolas Pesce, The Grudge stars Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin with Lin Shaye and Jacki Weaver. With a screenplay by Nicolas Pesce and a story by Nicolas Pesce and Jeff Buhler, The Grudge is based on the film “Ju-On: The Grudge” written & directed by Takashi Shimizu. The Grudge is produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Taka Ichise and is executive produced by Nathan Kahane, Erin Westerman, Brady Fujikawa, Andrew Pfeffer, Roy Lee, Doug Davison, John Powers Middleton and Schuyler Weiss.

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