The Grudge

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For other uses, see The Grudge (disambiguation).
The Grudge
The Grudge movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Takashi Shimizu
Produced by Sam Raimi
Robert Tapert
Written by Stephen Susco
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar
Jason Behr
KaDee Strickland
Clea DuVall
Bill Pullman
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Katsumi Yanagishima
Edited by Jeff Betancourt
Production
company
Ghost House Pictures
Vertigo Entertainment
Distributed by Columbia Pictures (USA)
Universal Pictures (UK)
Roadshow Entertainment (AU/NZ)
Release dates
  • October 22, 2004 (2004-10-22)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million[1]
Box office $187,281,115

The Grudge is a 2004 American horror film and the first installment in The Grudge franchise. It is a remake of the Japanese film Ju-on: The Grudge. The film was released in North America on October 22, 2004 by Columbia Pictures,[2] and was directed by Takashi Shimizu (director of the Ju-on series)[3] while Stephen Susco scripted the film. The plot is told through a non-linear sequence of events and includes several intersecting subplots.

As the first installment of The Grudge franchise, it was followed by two sequels: The Grudge 2 (which was released on October 13, 2006),[4] and The Grudge 3 (released on May 12, 2009).[5] A reboot of the series, penned by Jeff Buhler and produced by Sam Raimi, was announced in early 2014.[6]

This is Columbia Pictures's last and final film under Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment before becoming Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Plot[edit]

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 evil 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; the original film is presented in a non-linear narrative.

The Saeki family lived happily in suburban Tokyo, but housewife Kayako Saeki fell in love with her college professor, Peter Kirk, obsessively writing about him in her diary. However, her husband Takeo discovered the diary. Believing Kayako was having an affair, he becomes mentally disturbed and murders his wife by snapping her neck to a 90 degree angle, crushing her throat. He then drowned his young son Toshio in the bathtub to cover his tracks, along with the pet cat, Mar. Takeo hid the bodies in the attic and closet, before Kayako's ghost murders him by hanging him with her hair in Toshio's bedroom. Peter comes to the Saeki house to speak with Kayako after receiving a letter from her, only to find her corpse. Shocked, he flees the house, committing suicide the next day by falling over the balcony of a building in front of his wife. The family rise again as ghosts due to their rage and sorrow, notably Kayako, who appears as an onryō ghost, leaving the curse on the house.

A few years after the Saeki family dies, the Williams family move in from America. While husband Matt is thrilled with the house, his wife Jennifer and dementia-ridden mother Emma feel uncomfortable. Jennifer is quickly consumed by the curse. Matt returns home to find the house trashed, Emma upset, and his wife dying. Matt and Jennifer are killed by Toshio. Yoko, a careworker, arrives at the house the next day to find Emma alone, and encounters Kayako, who attacks her. Concerned about Yoko's disappearance, her employer Alex sends another careworker, Karen Davis, to take over the care for Emma. At the house, Karen is shocked when she finds a seemingly alive Toshio and Mar in the closet, contacting Alex for help.

Alex finds Emma dead in the house and Karen in a state of shock after her first encounter with Kayako, and summons the police, including Detective Nakagawa. Nakagawa and his partner Igarashi explore the house, finding the bodies of Matt and Jennifer in the attic along with a bottom jaw. Matt's sister Susan disappears after being attacked by Kayako when she sucks down in her bed, and Alex is killed when visited by a Kayako-possessed Yoko without a lower jaw. Karen begins to be haunted by Kayako herself, informing her boyfriend Doug of the situation. She researches the origins of the house, eventually confronting Nakagawa, who explains three of his colleagues investigating the Saeki deaths all were consumed by the curse. That night, Nakagawa goes to the house and tries to burn it down, but is killed by Takeo.

Karen races to the house upon learning Doug has ventured there to look for her, experiencing a vision in which she sees Peter visiting the house and finding Kayako's corpse. Karen finds Doug paralyzed by fear, and attempts to flee the house with him, only to witness Kayako as she drags herself down the stairs and crawls on Doug, causing him to die of fright. Karen spots the petrol and manages to ignite it with Doug's lighter just as Kayako is about to kill her. Karen is whisked to a hospital, but learns the house survived the fire. Visiting Doug's body, Karen realizes she is still haunted by Kayako, who appears behind her as the camera circles to reveal her wide staring eye.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Grudge opened at 3,348 theaters in North America.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] The film is recognized as the second highest grossing horror remake of the past 40 years behind The Ring, however in front of horror films such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and One Missed Call; the former of 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.[10] It is also second in Japanese remakes but seventh in the highest openings for an October and Fall release, being beaten by family movies.[10]

Critical response[edit]

The Grudge received mixed reviews, earning a "Rotten" rating of 39% on Rotten Tomatoes (with 61 out of 156 film reviews counted fresh) with the consensus citing "There's some creepy imagery to be found, but not much in the way of logic or truly jarring scares." Classic FM's film critic Simon Bates deemed it the scariest film he had ever seen.

Despite being based on the original Ju-on: The Grudge, viewers have compared elements of the film to another J-horror remake called The Ring as both antagonists (Samara and Kayako) look strikingly similar. Despite most mixed reviews for the film, Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance as Karen has been received positively.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

Formats[edit]

The Grudge was released on DVD and UMD on February 1, 2005, as a standard version of the film with only a few special features.[11] 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.[12] The film was released on Blu-ray Disc in Germany in 2008[citation needed] and in the U.S. 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.

Sales[edit]

The Grudge made $9.24 million from DVD sales in its first week, debuting at #2 in the sales chart behind Ray. It has made an estimated $20 million since.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IMDB (October 20, 2006). "The Grudge production budget". IMDB. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  2. ^ IMDB (October 5, 2006). s "The Grudge release date". IMDB. Retrieved 2006-10-20. [dead link]
  3. ^ IMDB (October 20, 2006). "Grudge 2 directed by original Ju-on director". IMDB. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  4. ^ House of Horrors (October 5, 2006). "Grudge 2 release date". House of Horrors. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  5. ^ Shock Till You Drop (October 16, 2007). "Screenplay sent in to Ghost House Pictures". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  6. ^ "Horror Hit ‘The Grudge’ Going Reboot Route". deadline.com. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Box Office Mojo (October 20, 2006). "Grudge opens on 3,348 theatres". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  8. ^ Box Office Mojo (October 20, 2006). "Grudge tops box office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  9. ^ Box Office Mojo (October 20, 2006). "The Grudge was expected to generate 20 Million". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=horrorremake.htm
  11. ^ Amazon (October 20, 2006). "Standard Version release". Amazon. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  12. ^ Amazon (October 20, 2006). "Uncut Version release". Amazon. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  13. ^ http://www.movieweb.com/news/ray-and-the-grudge-top-the-dvd-charts

External links[edit]