Kebbel Reveals 'Grudge 2' Subplot

Sunny-natured actress Arielle Kebbel learned to embrace her dark side for her role in the upcoming horror sequel "The Grudge 2." The blonde actress literally went dark when she became a brunette to play the latest person to get "grudged."

"I play nerdy Allison. I have long black hair and big black eyebrows, and I am the wallflower studying at an international high school in Tokyo," she reveals during an interview to promote her comedy "John Tucker Must Die." "The cool girls of the school take me to the Grudge house. And I think that they're -- you know, this is my chance, that they're kind of initiating me in their cool group. I finally have a chance to have some friends.

"In fact, they're just taking me there to humiliate me, to watch me get scared and take pictures," she continues. "And of course, what they didn't count on was the fact that the Grudge is real, and comes back to life, and that's kind of the starting of the story where we all begin to get 'grudged.'"

This sounds suspiciously like a story line in the Japanese film "Ju-On," the basis for the 2004 Sarah Michelle Gellar horror hit "The Grudge," which centers on the curse that brings death to anyone exposed to a particularly angry ghost. Although the American remake followed "Ju-On's" story closely, this subplot was missing.

Director Takashi Shimizu doesn't intend "Grudge 2" to mirror "Ju-On 2" though. Although he's kept most details under wraps, he says that the American sequel will delve into the origins of what the Grudge curse is, revealing some secrets from creepy ghost lady Kayako's (Takako Fuji) childhood. The story also follows Aubrey (Amber Tamblyn), a young woman searching for her missing sister Karen (Gellar), aided by investigative reporter Eason (Edison Chen).

Kebbel's story is most likely one of the subplots to warm the audience up for more creepiness to come. Like cats and pasty white skin, long black hair is one of the horror franchise's eerie motifs. It's certainly a change of pace physically and performance-wise for Kebbel who plays a cute, outgoing go-getter in "John Tucker Must Die."

"It's a total 180, and it was so much fun for me," says the actress. "Every day I went to work and physically transformed before I even got on set. And it was amazing. It was amazing having that feeling. I felt like I was playing every single day."

Kebbel, 21, was last seen as a snooty, anti-mermaid rich girl in "Aquamarine." Her other credits include "Soul Plane," "Be Cool," "American Pie Presents Band Camp" and recurring roles on "Grounded for Life" and "Gilmore Girls."

"The Grudge 2" spreads on Oct. 13, and "John Tucker" opens nationwide on Friday, July 28.