The Grudge

Infobox Film
name = The Grudge

caption = The Movie Poster
director = Takashi Shimizu
producer = Sam Raimi
Robert Tapert
writer = Stephen Susco
starring = Sarah Michelle Gellar
Jason Behr
KaDee Strickland
Clea DuVall
Bill Pullman
Rosa Blasi
music = Christopher Young
cinematography = Katsumi Yanagishima
editing = Jeff Betancourt
distributor = Sony (USA)
Universal Studios (UK)
released = United States:
October 22, 2004
February 11, 2005
gross = $187,281,115
runtime = 92 min. (98 min. director's cut)
country = USA
awards =
language = English
budget = $10 Million [cite web | author= IMDB| date= October 20, 2006| title= The Grudge production budget| format= | work= IMDB| url=
preceded_by =
followed_by = The Grudge 2 (2006)
amg_id = 1:301035
imdb_id = 0391198
website =

"The Grudge" is the 2004 American remake of the Japanese film "". The film is the first installment in the American horror film series "The Grudge". The film was released in North America on October 22, 2004 [ cite web | author= IMDB | date= October 5, 2006| title= The Grudge release date| format= | work= IMDB| url=
] and is directed by Takashi Shimizu (director of the original series) [ cite web | author= IMDB| date= October 20, 2006| title= Grudge 2 directed by original Ju-on director| format= | work= IMDB| url=
] while Stephen Susco scripted the remake. In the same tradition as the original series, the plot of the film is told through a non-linear sequence of events and includes several intersecting subplots.

The film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA and 15 by the BBFC for its content of mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality.cite web| url=| title=The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)| month=October 20th| year=2006| last=| accessdate=2006-10-20] The film has earned a cult status among many users on various Internet forums including Rotten Tomatoes [ cite web | author= Rotten Tomatoes| date= October 20, 2006| title= Status on Rotten Tomatoes| format= | work= Rotten Tomatoes| url=
] and Internet Movie Database. [ cite web | author= IMDB| date= October 20, 2006| title= Status on IMDB| format= | work= IMDB| url=
] The film has also spawned several sequels including "The Grudge 2" (which was released on October 13, 2006) [ cite web | author= House of Horrors | date= October 5, 2006| title= Grudge 2 release date| format= | work= House of Horrors| url=
] and "The Grudge 3" (which is currently in pre-production for a 2008 release). [ cite web | author= Shock Till You Drop| date= October 16, 2007| title= Screenplay sent in to Ghost House Pictures| format= | work= Shock Till You Drop| url=


"The Grudge" describes a curse that is born when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow. Those who encounter this murderous supernatural force die and the curse is reborn repeatedly, passed from victim to victim in an endless, growing chain of horror. The following events are explained in their actual order (which differs from the order shown on film).

The Saeki Murders and Peter Kirk

(Note: These events happen three years prior to the events in the film and several events portrayed in this section are shown in the director's cut, but parts of it are in the regular version.)

Kayako Saeki (Takako Fuji), a young Japanese woman, is unhappily married to Takeo Saeki (Takashi Matsuyama).

She becomes obsessed with Peter Kirk (Bill Pullman), an American college professor working in Tokyo. She writes about her feelings for him in a diary. She follows him and sends him love letters. One night, Kayako returns home and enters her bedroom upstairs. She finds her husband reading her diary. In a rage, Takeo attacks Kayako, shoving her to the floor, banging the walls while yelling and screaming. Kayako sprains her ankle, crawls down the stairs, but Takeo catches her and snaps her neck.

Takeo looks up to see their eight-year-old son, Toshio Saeki (Yuya Ozeki), at the top of the stairs; a witness to the murder. Takeo drags Toshio to the bathroom and drowns him in the bathtub. Takeo also slits Toshio's cat's throat and tosses the carcass on the floor of the bathroom. He wraps Kayako's body in plastic trash bags and places it far in the corner of the attic. He puts Toshio's body in his bedroom closet and tapes it shut with Duct tape, and then hangs himself.

In order to find out why Kayako is sending him the letters, Peter Kirk comes to the Saeki residence the next day with one of Kayako's love letters in hand. He sees Toshio's hands hanging out of the bathroom window, bruised and scratched. Peter goes inside and decides to stay with the boy until the parents return. Peter looks through the rest of the house, entering Takeo and Kayako's bedroom in back where he finds several family photos in a pile on the floor. Kayako's face has been torn out of every one of them. He finds Kayako's diary and thumbs through it, learning more about Kayako's obsession with him.

The closet door catches his eye and, upon inspecting it, he finds the cut-outs of Kayako's face nailed all over the door and smeared with blood. Kayako's lifeless corpse falls out from the attic and lands on the closet shelf. He runs into the hall and hears thumping noises coming from Toshio's room and finds Takeo hanging from a noose of Kayako's hair. The next morning, in front of his wife, Maria (Rosa Blasi), he commits suicide by jumping off the balcony just outside his apartment bedroom. This scene is shown on the beginning of the movie.

The Williams Family

Matthew Williams (William Mapother), his wife, Jennifer (Clea DuVall), and ailing mother, Emma (Grace Zabriskie) move to Tokyo as a result of Matthew's promotion. His sister, Susan (KaDee Strickland), also lives in Tokyo and helps them find a home. Matthew and Jennifer decide on a suburban house despite Emma's strange reactions to the place. Emma's health and condition deteriorate rapidly following the move. Jennifer becomes disenchanted with life in Japan as she cannot sleep during (what she assumes to be) Emma's restless stirrings, cannot speak the language, and has gotten lost once on a walk. Matthew assures her things will improve and that if they don't, the family will return to the United States.

Jennifer falls asleep on a couch in the living room, after having made and partially eaten a bowl of ramen, which she left on the table. The sound of the bowl hitting the floor wakes her. She scolds Emma for making the mess, but then sees a trail of wet child's footprints leading out to the hall. She sees a cat on the landing of the stairs and sees a pair of white arms gently pick it up. She continues upstairs and enters her bedroom (Toshio's former bedroom). The door closes behind her.

Matthew returns from work and finds the house in complete disarray with trash strewn everywhere. He calls out to his wife, who doesn't answer. He finally finds her on their bed, unable to move or speak and struggling to breathe. Before he can call an ambulance, he is startled by the sudden appearance of a young boy making cat sounds. He backs up against the closet as Toshio appears suddenly over his head.

Later, Susan is preparing to leave the office after becoming concerned from not being able to reach Matthew. She hears moaning sounds in the hallway, so she quickly exits to the stairs when the lights start to flicker and shatter. Susan looks over the railing to see Kayako's ghost crawling up the stairs. Susan flees to the security office, seeking help. Susan watches the monitor as the security guard investigates. Kayako's black ghost materializes in the hallway and walks toward the security camera, and Susan runs.

Susan takes a taxi cab back to her apartment. She enters an elevator, and it ascends several floors. Susan makes it safely inside when her phone rings. It is Matthew claiming to have forgotten her apartment number and asking to be buzzed inside. She tells him where to find her and activates the buzzer with the phone. Before she can hang up, the doorbell rings immediately. Thinking Matthew couldn't possibly have had time to arrive, she checks the peephole of the door. It is Matthew, so Susan thinks he's been pranking her. She angrily throws open the door, but no one is there. The death rattle sounds loudly through the phone in Susan's hand. She breaks the phone, but the sound still comes. Cowering in bed, Susan reaches beneath the covers and pulls out the rabbit's foot phone charm from her phone and drops it in fear. A lump billows from underneath the covers and moves toward Susan. She lifts the sheets and finds herself staring into the face of Kayako's ghost. It yanks her under the covers, and the sheets fall flat upon the now empty bed.

The Social Workers

(The events in this section are shown throughout the film, though they take place in time shortly after the Williams move in to the house.)

Yoko (Yoko Maki) is a girl whose work is to take care of Emma and clean the house. When picking up trash on the floor and stairs, she hears someone walking around up in the attic. Following the noise, Yoko enters a closet in the bedroom and sees a small door in the ceiling, which leads to the attic. Using a lighter, Yoko sticks her head up through the door and slowly turns around, looking for the source of the sound. She eventually comes face to face with the ghost of Kayako Saeki, who attacks her, dragging her up into the closet.

Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is then called in to work at the house and care for Emma after Yoko disappears. While working, Karen looks up to see a boy at the top of the stairs. She asks his name. "Toshio," he says, in a toneless, eerie voice. Emma begins stirring and muttering in the other room. As Karen calms her, a dark shadow of hair emerges from a corner of the room, terrifying Emma. Karen looks up to see Kayako reaching for Emma. Kayako's hair, which was covering her face, flies back to reveal the whites of her eyes. The irises roll into place and focus on Karen as she backs away in fright.

Alex, Karen's boss, finally arrives to find Emma dead and Karen in a state of shock. Karen is taken to the hospital while detectives question Alex. Detective Nakagawa (Ryo Ishibashi) asks Alex about the people that lived there, and tell him that Yoko has been missing from work. The detectives notice that the phone handset is missing from the cradle and push the page button. They trace the sounds to the attic where they discover the corpses of Matthew and his wife. They also make the grisly discovery of a human jaw and wonder to whom it belongs and where the rest of the body might be. Later in the movie, Yoko is spotted again by Alex as she is shuffling down the stairs of the caretaking facility where Alex works. Alex calls out repeatedly to Yoko, who does not answer in any way until she reaches the bottom of the stairs. She then turns around to reveal her face, now horribly disfigured without her jaw and her tongue is hanging out.

Karen tells her story to detectives at the hospital, emphasizing the appearance of a boy. She is constantly tormented by Kayako, in her shower, on a bus, etc. In the days following her experience in the house, she researches the house and learns of the murders.

Detective Nakagawa becomes convinced that the rash of deaths and missing people is connected to the house when he views the entire security video taken at the Susan's office building. He watches as Kayako proceeds down the hall, then to come face to face with the camera as the video fuzzes out. He then returns to the Saeki house with two cans of gasoline. He is distracted by sounds of Toshio drowning in the bath tub. He enters and finds a boy hanging out of the tub, and tries to revive him. His eyes snap open, and Takeo appears behind him. He shoves Nakagawa into the tub and drowns him like Toshio.

Karen questions Peter Kirk's wife who does not appear to know anything about the house, its occupants, or why her husband killed himself. She allows Karen to search through old photos. Karen discovers a living Kayako in the background of every photograph, clearly following the couple. Karen returns to the house after learning that her boyfriend, Doug (Jason Behr), has gone there looking for her.

Inside the house, Karen experiences a flashback of Peter Kirk's visit. She watches him, reliving the experience with him finding the body of Kayako and leaving the home. Karen flees downstairs. Doug grabs her ankle before she leaves. He is incapacitated and she tries to drag him to the door. A door opens upstairs. Kayako's ghost crawls down the stairs toward them and Doug dies in the same way Jennifer Williams did. Karen opens the door, but Kayako's ghost is suddenly there. She slams the door and kicks over one of the gas cans. She takes Doug's lighter and tosses it onto the gas as Doug suddenly becomes Kayako. The screen goes white (in the director's cut, there are shots of Karen being put into an ambulance van).

At the hospital, Karen learns that the house was saved from burning and mourns Doug's dead body. Suddenly, Kayako's hair and arm comes from beneath the sheet that covers him, but Karen realizes that it's just her imagination. Kayako then appears behind Karen. As Kayako utters her death-rattle, the movie ends with an eyeshot of her.

Differences from the Original

In the original Ju-on: The Grudge, Kayako is murdered by Takeo off-screen, except for the montage in the opening that shows him after she is murdered. This makes the Ju-on murder of Kayako a mystery. It's believed that Kayako was murdered by a utility knife due to the slash marks on both her body and face. A deleted scene in the DVD release shows Takeo slashing Kayako with a penknife. One possibility is that Kayako saw Takeo reading her diary most likely in their bedroom, and he attacked her, pushing her down. She crawls down the stairs and is followed by Takeo. Kayako is cornered by Takeo and backs up against the wall by the door. Toshio is watching from the top of the stairs, not really understanding what is happening. Takeo reaches his hand out for Kayako's face to slash her neck. Toshio goes and hides in his closet. Takeo brings Kayako up to their bedroom and slashes her with a utility knife. Then he wraps her in a plastic bag and puts her in the attic. He drowns Toshio and slits his cat's throat. Takeo shoves Toshio with the cat back in the closet. Kayako's body was found in the attic, and Takeo died on a nearby street because of Kayako ghost (shown in the original Ju-on: The Curse). However, it also seems likely that Kayako's neck was broken before she was finished off with the knife, as evidenced by the cracking sounds she makes when she moves her neck.

In the remake, Kayako is murdered when Takeo breaks her neck. The scenes that outline the are shown off-screen in the theatrical cut, but all is shown in the director's cut. In the director's cut, a flashback before the film's ending shows Kayako standing in the doorway of her bedroom, realizing that Takeo is reading her diary and knows about her infatuation with Peter Kirk. He then chases her into the hallway and rips her dress and knocks her to the floor twisting her ankle as he is screaming and hitting on the walls. Kayako then crawls down the stairs in an attempt to escape, but is grabbed by Takeo who snaps her neck with both hands. These events are witnessed by Toshio who was immediately drowned by Takeo with his cat (described in The Saeki Murders).


* Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen Davis, an exchange student who takes a job as a care worker to obtain social studies credit.
* Jason Behr as Doug, Karen's boyfriend, who attends the University of Tokyo, and has a part-time job working at a restaurant.
* William Mapother as Matthew Williams, a "number cruncher" who receives a promotion from his superiors that requires him to relocate to Tokyo.
* Clea DuVall as Jennifer, Matthew's lonely wife who is trying to adjust to a new life in Japan.
* KaDee Strickland as Susan, Matthew's younger sister, who resides and works in Tokyo, and who helps her brother, sister-in-law and mother choose and move into their new home.
* Grace Zabriskie as Emma Williams, Matthew's mother, who is suffering from severe lethargy with mild dementia.
* Bill Pullman as Peter, a teacher working in Tokyo, who receives a number of love letters from Kayako, a woman he does not know.
* Rosa Blasi as Maria, Peter's wife.
* Ted Raimi as Alex, the director of the care centre that Yoko and Karen are stationed at.
* Ryo Ishibashi as Nakagawa, a detective whose colleagues all died or disappeared under mysterious circumstances during the investigation of the Saeki family murder case. He is all too aware of the house and its strange history.
* Yoko Maki as Yoko, a Japanese care worker who speaks English, and is assigned to care for Emma Williams.
* Yuya Ozeki as Toshio, the eight year-old son of Kayako and Takeo Saeki.
* Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki, a married woman who develops an attraction towards Peter Kirk.
* Takashi Matsuyama as Takeo Saeki, Kayako's husband, who is angry when he discovers her feelings for another man. He murders Kayako prior to the film's events and put a curse on the house.



The film opened on 3,348 theatres in North America [ cite web | author= Box Office Mojo| date= October 20, 2006| title= Grudge opens on 3,348 theatres| format= | work= Box Office Mojo| url=
] . The film generated $39.1 million in ticket sales in its first weekend (October 22 - 24 2004). The film later declined 43% on its second weekend by earning $21.8 million, becoming the first horror film to top the Halloween box office since "House on Haunted Hill". [ cite web | author= Box Office Mojo| date= October 20, 2006| title= Grudge tops box office| format= | work= Box Office Mojo| url=
] The film made US$110,359,362 in North America alone and a total of $187,281,115 worldwide, far exceeding the expectations of box office analysts and Sony Pictures executives. Sony also stated the film cost less than $10 million to produce, thereby making it one of the most profitable films of the year. [ cite web | author= Box Office Mojo| date= October 20, 2006| title= The Grudge was expected to generate 20 Million| format= | work= Box Office Mojo| url=
] .

The film has a 40% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes (with 58 out of 144 film reviews counted fresh).


A sequel, "The Grudge 2", was announced three days after the film opened [ cite web | author= IMDB| date= September 10, 2006| title= Grudge 2 announced 3 days after the release of The Grudge| format= | work= IMDB| url=
] and released in 2006. The sequel stars Amber Tamblyn as Karen's younger sister Aubrey who is sent to Japan by her mother to bring Karen home from Japan.

"The Grudge 3" was announced by Sony during Comic-Con 2006. Takashi Shimizu stated he initially offered to direct the sequel but preferred to produce the film. [cite web | author= Bloody Disgusting| date= October 20, 2006| title= Grudge 3 announced at Comic Con| format= | work= Bloody Disgusting| url=]
] On October 23, 2007, it was confirmed that the film would instead be directed by Toby Wilkins, who directed the short films "Tales From The Grudge" as promotional material for the release of "The Grudge 2" in 2006. [ cite web | author= Bloody Disgusting| date= October 22, 2007| title= Toby Wilkins attached to direct The Grudge 3| format= | work= Bloody Disgusting| url=
] The film will be produced by Takashi Shimizu and Sam Raimi. A second draft of the screenplay has been completed, [ cite web | author= Bloody Disgusting| date= October 16, 2007| title= Sam Raimi sends in a second draft for screenplay | format= | work= Bloody Disgusting| url=
] [ cite web | author= Shock Till You Drop| date= October 16, 2007| title= Screenplay sent in to Ghost House Pictures| format= | work= Shock Till You Drop| url=
] and the film could start filming as early as January 2008, depending on further script development. This will be the final film in The Grudge series. [ cite web | author= Shock Till You Drop| date= October 22, 2007| title= Production to begin January 2008| format= | work= Shock Till You Drop| url=

On October 31, 2007, it was revealed the film's screenplay was written by Brad Keene and the film's synopsis was also revealed. The story will follow "A young Japanese woman holds a secret to ending the curse of the Grudge. She travels to a haunted Chicago apartment building where she encounters a family battling to survive the ghosts. Together they confront the ghost of Kayako to save their souls from their impending tragic fate." [ cite web | author= Bloody Disgusting| date= October 31, 2007| title= Story for The Grudge 3 revealed| format= | work= Bloody Disgusting| url=

On January 19, 2008 it was revealed that Matthew Knight would reprise his role as Jake, and the film would begin production in Bulgaria in March 2008. It was also revealed the film would not be a theatrical release, however it would be released direct to dvd. [ cite web | author= Bloody Disgusting| date= January 19, 2008| title= First Official 'Grudge 3' Casting News!| format= | work= Bloody Disgusting| url=

DVD release

The film was released on DVD on February 1, 2005. The film was released as a standard version of the film with only a few special features. [ cite web | author= Amazon| date= October 20, 2006| title= Standard Version release| format= | work= Amazon| url=
] . On May 17 2005, the MPAA-unrated director's cut of "The Grudge" was released onto DVD in North America. The release included several scenes that were cut to achieve a lower rating from the MPAA, as well as others which were removed for pacing and plot reasons. This version of the film was used as the theatrical run in Japan. The release also contained new deleted scenes and commentaries, stories In a Corner, and other content involving Gakko no Kaiden G. [ cite web | author= Amazon| date= October 20, 2006| title= Uncut Version release| format= | work= Amazon| url=

Basic references

pecific references

*. Retrieved June 9, 2005.
*. Retrieved June 9, 2005.
*. Retrieved June 7, 2005.
*. Retrieved October 7, 2006.

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Director Takashi Shimizu Q&A]

Box Office Leaders USA
before = Shark Tale
year = 2004
date= October 24
date2 = October 31
after = The Incredibles


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