Why John Cho Picked The Grudge as His First Horror Film

Why John Cho Picked The Grudge as His First Horror Movie

Don Kaye

Jan 2, 2020

Star Trek's John Cho delves into supernatural horror for the primary time with this reboot of the Japanese/American franchise.

The Grudge is without doubt one of the strangest franchises in horror movie historical past: the sequence encompasses 9 Japanese movies (beginning with the unique direct-to-video Ju-On again in 2000) and now 4 American ones. The latest, merely titled The Grudge, is the 13th general and offers just like the others with the central premise of your complete sequence: if somebody dies in a rage, that rage lingers as a type of supernatural virus that may infect and destroy anybody who is available in contact with it.

A kind of reboot/sequel, The Grudge is directed and written by Nicolas Pesce, who has created a buzz on the horror scene along with his first two options, The Eyes of My Mom (2016) and Piercing (2018). Pesce’s tackle The Grudge is the primary of the flicks to be set in America — upstate New York, to be actual, and whereas it takes place in 2004 (the identical yr as the primary American movie), it goes forwards and backwards in time because it focuses on three household items that every one come into contact with the title terror.

A kind of households consists of actual property brokers Nina and Peter Spencer, performed by Betty Gilpin and John Cho, who’re contaminated with the curse after they put together a home on the market however are unaware {that a} tragedy in the home left supernatural repercussions. Cho is finest recognized to our readers as Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu within the final three Star Trek films, but in addition made historical past as the primary Asian-American actor to guide a mainstream Hollywood thriller when he starred in 2018’s Looking out.

His different credit in movie and TV embrace the Harold and Kumar movies, FlashForward, Sleepy Hole, Columbus, The Exorcist, The Oath and others, and he has develop into a number one voice for higher Asian illustration throughout each mediums. He’s set to star as Spike Spiegel in Netflix’s long-awaited live-action adaptation of the celebrated Cowboy Bebop anime sequence, though a knee damage on set just lately shut down manufacturing till later this spring.

The Grudge, in the meantime, is his first full-on horror film, and Den of Geek spoke with Cho about exploring this style for the primary time, in addition to the way forward for each Cowboy Bebop and Star Trek.

Den of Geek: Are you personally interested in horror movies as a fan?

John Cho: I am a latest convert. The primary film I ever noticed in a theater was a horror film known as Dying Ship Half 2, and I noticed it after I was six years previous by chance. We had simply moved to America, and my dad and mom took us to a second run movie show the place the seats had been $1.00, to get some low cost air-con. In Korea on the time, all films had been okay for common viewers, so (my dad and mom) did not actually understand that this was a rated R factor or what that meant. So we went in and I noticed a lady being impaled throughout the first two minutes and was actually freaked out. However we didn’t go away the theater as a result of we had paid 4 bucks, so my dad and mom saved us in there. My brother was 4. We simply watched this film with fingers over our eyes on the unhealthy components.

learn extra: 31 Greatest Horror Motion pictures to Stream

So I used to be just lately considering that is in all probability why I used to be by no means actually into horror. I did not need to watch Halloween or Friday the 13th as a youngster when everyone else was into that stuff, and I simply kind of stayed away from it.

A late bloomer.

Yeah, I feel it was in all probability Get Out that actually bought me type of straight again into horror, though there have been definitely horror films that I’ve favored over time. However I used to be an informal fan. I used to be fairly informal, fairly eliminated. However I began fascinated with it extra actively after Get Out, though I am unsure whether or not you possibly can even name {that a} horror movie, however I began fascinated with the style in a whole lot of other ways at the moment.

The Grudge sequence has this sort of convoluted historical past. Did you discover any of the opposite films, both from Japan or the U.S.?

You realize, there’s a lot that you may get slowed down in, and I hadn’t watched any of it. I stated sure to the movie primarily based upon Nick’s work, each his earlier work as a director after which primarily based on the script and our assembly and our discussing the movie. And after I stated sure, I stated, “What would you like me to reveal myself to within the Grudge universe?” And he stated this movie connects very on to Ju-On, and that is the one I would like you to see, and simply maintain it there. So I have not seen the opposite ones, however I suppose it is a good time to return now.

The central of this sequence is that rage turns into one thing that lingers on even after demise. Do you see that as an fascinating metaphor for the concept of rage or repressed anger generally?

Oh boy, I hadn’t actually even considered it that method. Regardless that the premise sounds supernatural and it sounds far-fetched, I feel the explanation it really works is all of us truly consider it. Like I’ve averted shopping for properties the place I’ve discovered of an unlucky demise, as a result of on some stage I consider that there’s something left over in that home. That the home has a reminiscence of it, you understand? I feel it is the explanation the style works — when it actually works, it really works spectacularly, as a result of it is talking to one thing inside us that is true.

What did you hone in on about this character?

The factor that I favored about Nick’s script is that every one the characters within the movie are coping with tragedy, however they’re sadly mundane, you understand? They’re on a regular basis grownup issues. I feel the factor linking everybody within the movie is one, the tragedy of the grudge, that they encountered the grudge, but it surely virtually appears to be associated to their love for each other. All their points stem from a really intense relationship of affection, and the truth that the universe sends this supernatural power their method makes it additional tragic. However I feel that that is the best way it feels typically on the earth, that the perfect folks get the worst.

You shot this earlier than you began engaged on Cowboy Bebop and bought injured. So if I’ll ask, how’s the knee feeling?

I am coming alongside. We’re in the course of rehab and I am unsure what the timetable is. I am making an attempt not to consider it an excessive amount of. That’ll be fluid as I get higher and higher, however issues are coming alongside actually properly and I am actually excited in regards to the present. I’ve seen a few of it and it is only a actually distinctive type of vocabulary. Probably the most distinctive type of filmmaking expertise in all probability that I’ve had that I can keep in mind. The visible parts, the music parts, character stuff. It is simply very uncommon. I like it.

What are you listening to on the Star Trek entrance? What’s your sense of the place issues could be going with that? (The movie sequence has reportedly been handed off to Legion creator Noah Hawley.)

I do not know. I have not heard something straight from Paramount or anybody related to it. I am not even able to substantiate any of these issues that you have heard, so sadly I bought nothing for you. However each time I hear a couple of potential Star Trek movie, I get actually excited. The concepts all appear actually good. I want we would go forward and make one. I am prepared.

I think about you’d prefer to get to discover Sulu some extra now that they had been beginning to transfer the character ahead a bit.

Yeah, it is that and it is only a nice bunch of individuals. It is simply one in every of my favourite casts I’ve ever labored with and it is at all times a blast simply being in a single place on the similar time with these folks.

You’ve got finished and spoken lots about illustration for Asian actors and Asian-American actors within the system today, so are you kind of intrigued to see what Marvel is doing with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings, which is the primary Asian-led superhero movie that is going to be popping out in a yr or so?

Certain yeah, that sounds thrilling. I am a little bit immune to kind of hanging everybody’s future on superhero films, simply as an idea, and I do not know something about it, however I am going to definitely be watching. The concept of an Asian superhero is definitely thrilling.

The Grudge is out in theaters Friday (January 3).

Learn and obtain the Den of Geek Misplaced In House Particular Version Journal proper right here!

Don Kaye is a Los Angeles-based leisure journalist and affiliate editor of Den of Geek. Different present and previous shops embrace Syfy, United Stations Radio Networks, Fandango, MSN, and plenty of extra. Learn extra of his work right here. Comply with him on Twitter @donkaye

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