The two also sound off on the film's R-rating and whether "Star Trek" should go the same route.
In 2004, Sarah Michelle Gellar had us all screaming with one incredibly memorable shower scene in "The Grudge." Now, 16 years later, the reboot makes it clear it's still not safe to get back in the water.
The trailers for the new movie all include footage of the gender-flipped shower scene, where a few sinister fingers stick out of the back of John Cho's head as he scrubs shampoo into his scalp.
"That's one of the old images from the movies that I think is so iconic," director Nick Pesce told TooFab about the new film's approach to the memorable moment. "A big thing with this movie is we're trying to make our own version, a new installment into the canon, but for all the fans of the old stuff, we wanted to have some winks and nods, do things a little differently."
Cho plays Peter Spencer in a film, half of a husband-wife real estate team who sell a home with an evil entity inside. As they grapple with the thought of becoming new parents in their 40s, they also find themselves up against supernatural forces.
"We kind of come into this scene on a more meditative note," said Pesce, who noted Cho's character is going through "a bit of emotional turmoil" with his family before rinsing off. "I think that for Grudge super fans, you see someone in the shower and you hope that something's going to happen and yeah, it was one of those images and motifs that we felt like was so Grudge-y and wanted to find a good place for it."
While the filmmaker hopes the moment sends shivers down audience's spines, Cho found himself shivering as well while filming the scene -- which took place in an actual home and not a studio set.
"My primary memory of that is that, that wasn't on a stage, that was on location," explained the actor. "The demands of filming are such that you need a lot of water, and they are greater than the demands of a household hot water heater. So we were running out of hot water. So that's my primary memory of that scene -- is getting colder and colder and colder..."
"And adding more steam to make it look like it's not cold, and telling John to stop shivering," interjected Pesce.
Though it takes notes from the 2004 film, the 2020 reboot offers up something its predecessor stayed away from: an R-rating. Not only did that allow Pesce to really amp up the gore and intensity, but touch on topics that were previously off limits.
"I think what it did more than anything was allow us, in the story, to deal with more serious subject matter, more adult subject matter. This is not a movie about teenagers running and screaming through a high school hall," he explained. "It's about adults, and I think that making it rated R, yeah we get to up the intensity of the horror, but we also get great actors doing more meaty story stuff."
Another series that may break free from its PG-13 rating is "Star Trek," in which Cho also stars as Sulu. When asked if he'd be into Quentin Tarantino directing an R-rated installment, Cho simply responded, "Yeah, f--king warp speed, baby!"