Stephen Susco wrote the screenplay for The Grudge, which was directed by Takashi Shimizu, written by Sam Raimi, and produced by Sam Raimi. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Clea DuVall, and Bill Pullman feature in this remake of Shimizu’s 2002 Japanese horror film Ju-On: The Grudge. It is the first entry of The Grudge film series, which is based on Japanese Ju-On films.
Kayako Saeki, Toshio Saeki, and Takeo Saeki are played by Takako Fuji, Yuya Ozeki, and Takashi Matsuyama, respectively, in the new film adaptation. There are multiple intertwining subplots in the plot, which are told through a nonlinear sequence of events.
A remake of Ju-On: The Grudge in the United States had been approved by Sony Pictures following the success of the American adaptation of The Ring (2002). Filmmaker Susco had developed a screenplay for Shimizu, the original film’s writer, and director; Shimizu was hired to direct. The film’s production began on January 26, 2004, in Tokyo, Japan, and finished in July of that year.
The Cast of the Grudge
- Karen Davis is played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, an exchange student, and Doug McCarthy is played by Jason Behr, Karen’s boyfriend, who attends the University of Tokyo and works as a server in a local Tokyo restaurant to make ends meet.
- Susan Williams, Matt’s younger sister and a businesswoman, who he joins in Tokyo with his wife and mother, is played by KaDee Strickland.
- Matthew “Matt” Williams, played by William Mapother, relocates to Tokyo for a promotion.
- Jennifer “Jen” Williams is played by Clea DuVall, while Matt’s wife Grace Zabriskie plays Emma Williams, Matt and Susan’s mother, and Jennifer’s mother-in-law suffers chronic lethargy and mild dementia.
- Peter Kirk, a college lecturer working in Tokyo and Kayako’s secret love and obsession, is played by Bill Pullman.
- Ted Raimi as Alex Jones, the director of the care home where Yoko and Karen are stationed, Rosa Blasi as Maria Kirk, Peter’s wife
Det. Hideto Nakagawa, played by Ryo Ishibashi, was a Japanese detective who investigated the killings at the Saeki Family House with his companions.
- Yoko Maki portrays Yoko Sekine, a Japanese caregiver assigned to Emma Williams.
- Kayako Saeki, played by Takako Fuji, is a married woman who has feelings for Peter Kirk.
- Toshio Saeki, Kayako, and Takeo Saeki’s 7-year-old son are played by Yuya Ozeki.
- Takeo Saeki, Kayako’s husband, and Toshio’s father is played by Takashi Matsuyama.
The Plot of the Grudge
The Grudge is a curse that is generated when someone dies in a fit of fury or sadness, and it is placed where the person died. The curse kills those who come into contact with it, and it is resurrected over and over again, going from victim to victim in an endless, escalating chain of horror. The events that follow are narrated in chronological order, although the film is told in a nonlinear manner.
Kayako Saeki, a housewife from suburban Tokyo, falls in love with college lecturer Peter Kirk in 2001 and keeps a diary about him. When Takeo discovers the diary, he becomes enraged and believes Kayako is having an affair with another guy. In a fit of wrath, Takeo murders their wife, their little son Toshio, and their favorite cat Mar. Kayako’s spirit hangs Takeo after he hides the bodies in the house.
Peter goes to the Saeki house after receiving a letter from Kayako, only to find both her and Takeo’s bodies, as well as Toshio’s spirit. He escapes the scene, shocked, and commits suicide the next day. The curse causes the rest of the Saeki family to reappear as ghosts, particularly Kayako, who appears as an only.
The Williams family from the United States moved into the Saeki residence in 2004. While Matt is ecstatic about the house, his wife Jennifer and his dementia-stricken mother Emma are not. The curse quickly consumes Matt and Jennifer. Emma is alone when Yoko, a care worker, arrives at the house, and she is dragged up into the attic by Kayako.
Concerned by Yoko’s disappearance, Alex sends Karen Davis, another care worker, to take over Emma’s care. Karen discovers Toshio imprisoned in a cupboard at the house and later sees Kayako’s spirit descend from the ceilings to claim Emma. Soon after, Alex arrives at the house and discovers Emma dead and Karen in shock. Alex summons the cops, who are joined by Detective Nakagawa. Matt and Jennifer’s bodies, as well as a human’s lower jaw, are discovered in the attic by Nakagawa and his associate Igarashi. Meanwhile, Kayako follows Matt’s sister, Susan, around her office building.
Kayako strikes her at home, and she vanishes. Alex is slain by Yoko’s jawless corpse as he leaves work. Kayako starts stalking Karen, who tells her boyfriend Doug about it. Karen investigates the house and eventually confronts Nakagawa, who explains that the curse has eaten three of his colleagues who were investigating the Saeki deaths.
That night, Nakagawa attempts to burn down the house with gasoline but is murdered by Takeo. Karen rushes to the Saeki residence after discovering that Doug has gone there to look for her. She discovers Doug has been crippled and tries to depart with him. Kayako crawls down the stairwell and grabs Doug, who collapses from shock. Karen notices the gasoline and ignites it as Kayako approaches.
Who Was the Girl With the Grudge?
In 2004, actress Takako Fuji played Kayako Saeki, the primary ghost in The Grudge horror franchise, and she tormented your nightmares. Who could forget this face and its creepy “ahh ahh ahh” gurgling voice?
Takako Fuji, who was born in Tokyo on July 27, 1972, began her acting career when she joined En Theatrical Campany while still a student at Aoyama Gakuin University. She was mostly seen on stage or in voice-overs before making her cinematic debut in 2003 as Kayako Saeki in Takashi Shimizu’s “Ju-On.” Her specialties include modern ballet dance and English speaking.