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The Grudge is a 2004 supernatural horror film and a remake of the 2002 Japanese film, Ju-on: The Grudge. The film was directed by Takashi Shimizu (director of all previous Ju-on films), while Stephen Susco scripted the film. The film was produced by Sam Raimi through its Ghost House Pictures, alongside Takashige Ichise and Robert Tapert. The plot is told through a nonlinear sequence of events, and includes several intersecting subplots.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Takashi Shimizu|
|Screenplay by||Stephen Susco|
|Based on||Ju-on: The Grudge|
by Takashi Shimizu
|Music by||Christopher Young|
|Edited by||Jeff Betancourt|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$187.2 million|
It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as a nurse who is cursed by the spirits of the house, while Jason Behr, Ryo Ishibashi, KaDee Strickland, William Mapother, Clea DuVall, and Bill Pullman in supporting roles. Takako Fuji, Yuya Ozeki, and Takashi Matsuyama portrays the characters Kayako Saeki, Toshio Saeki, and Takeo Saeki from the original franchise.
The Grudge was released in North America on October 22, 2004, by Columbia Pictures. The film received mixed reviews, though Gellar's performance as Karen Davis was praised by critics and was a box-office success, making over $187 million against a $10 million budget. The film was followed by two sequels, The Grudge 2 (2006) and The Grudge 3 (2009). A reimagining entitled The Grudge, which takes concurrently with the events of this film, is set to be released in 2020.
The Grudge describes a curse that is born when someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage or extreme sorrow. The curse is an entity created where the person died. Those who encounter this supernatural force die, and the curse is reborn repeatedly, passing from victim to victim in an endless, growing chain of horror. The following events are explained in their actual order; however, the film is presented in a nonlinear narrative.
The Saeki FamilyEdit
Kayako Saeki, a housewife living in suburban Tokyo, was in love with her college professor, Peter Kirk, and obsessively wrote about him in her diary. Her husband Takeo discovered the diary and believed that Kayako was having an affair. He brutally murdered her, their young son Toshio, and the pet cat Mar. After Takeo hid the bodies in the house, Toshio's ghost killed him by hanging him.
After receiving a letter from Kayako, Peter came to the Saeki house only to find both her and Takeo's corpses and Toshio's ghost. Shocked, he fled and killed himself the next day. The remainder of the Saeki family rose again as ghosts due to the curse, notably Kayako, who appears as an onryō ghost.
The Williams FamilyEdit
A few years later, the Williams family from America move in the Saeki house. While Matt is thrilled with the house, his wife Jennifer and dementia-ridden mother Emma feel uncomfortable. Matt and Jennifer are quickly consumed by the curse. Yoko, a care worker, arrives at the house to find Emma alone. She encounters Kayako, who drags her up into the attic.
Concerned about Yoko's disappearance, her employer Alex sends another care worker, Karen Davis, to take over the care of Emma. At the house, Karen discovers Toshio sealed up in a wardrobe and later on witnesses Kayako's spirit descending from the ceilings to claim Emma.
Alex arrives at the house shortly after and finds Emma dead and Karen in a state of shock. He calls the police, including Detective Nakagawa. In the attic, Nakagawa and his partner Igarashi find Matt and Jennifer's bodies, along with a human's lower jaw. Meanwhile, Matt's sister, Susan, is pursued by Kayako around her office building. At home, Kayako attacks her and she vanishes. While leaving work, Alex is killed by Yoko's jawless corpse.
Kayako begins haunting Karen, who informs her boyfriend Doug of the situation. She researches the house, eventually confronting Nakagawa, who explains that three of his colleagues investigating the Saeki deaths were all consumed by the curse. That night, Nakagawa carries gasoline to the house in an attempt to burn it down, but is killed by Takeo.
After learning that Doug has ventured to the Saeki house to look for her, Karen races there. She finds a paralyzed Doug and attempts to flee with him. Kayako crawled down the stairs and latched onto Doug, who dies of shock. As Kayako closes in, Karen sees the gasoline and ignites it.
Karen survives and in the hospital, she learns that the house also survived the fire. Visiting Doug's body, Karen realizes that she is still haunted by Kayako.
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen Davis, an exchange student
- Jason Behr as Doug McCarthy, Karen's boyfriend, who attends the University of Tokyo
- KaDee Strickland as Susan Williams, Matt's younger sister
- William Mapother as Matt Williams, who relocates to Tokyo for a promotion
- Clea DuVall as Jennifer Williams, Matt's wife
- Grace Zabriskie as Emma Williams, Matt and Susan's mother, who has severe lethargy with mild dementia.
- Bill Pullman as Peter Kirk, a teacher working in Tokyo
- Rosa Blasi as Maria Kirk, Peter's wife
- Ted Raimi as Alex Jones, the director of the care centre where Yoko and Karen are stationed
- Ryo Ishibashi as Det. Nakagawa, a detective
- Yōko Maki as Yoko, a Japanese care worker assigned to care for Emma Williams
- Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki, a married woman who is attracted to Peter Kirk
- Yuya Ozeki as Toshio Saeki, Kayako and Takeo Saeki's 10-year-old son.
- Takashi Matsuyama as Takeo Saeki, Kayako's husband
The Grudge opened at 3,348 theaters in North America. The film generated $39.1 million in ticket sales in its first weekend (October 22–24, 2004). Ticket sales declined 43% on the second weekend, earning $21.8 million, thereby becoming the first horror film to top the Halloween box office since House on Haunted Hill. 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 production costs of less than $10 million, making it one of the most profitable movies of the year. The film is recognized as the second-highest grossing horror remake of the past 40 years behind The Ring, but in front of horror films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and One Missed Call; the former two had successful franchises and were expected to be far more successful, whereas the latter is also an Asian horror remake and did far less in terms of box office. It is also second in Japanese remakes, but seventh in the highest openings for an October and fall release, being beaten by family movies.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 39%, based on 158 reviews (with 61 out of 158 film reviews counted fresh), with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "There's some creepy imagery to be found, but not much in the way of logic or truly jarring scares"
The Grudge was released on VHS, DVD, and UMD on February 1, 2005, as a standard version of the film with only a few special features. On May 17, 2005, the unrated director's cut of The Grudge was released on 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, director Takashi Shimizu's original Ju-On short films, "4444444444" and "In a Corner", and more. The film was released on Blu-ray Disc in Germany in 2008 and in the US on May 12, 2009, the same day that The Grudge 3 was released on DVD. It was made available to purchase on iTunes in 2008.
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- "The Grudge (2004)". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
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- Box Office Mojo (October 20, 2006). "The Grudge was expected to generate 20 Million". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2006-10-20.
- "Horror Remake Movies at the Box Office - Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com.
- The Grudge at Metacritic
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