Karen Davis (The Grudge)

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Karen Davis
The Grudge character
Karen David, The Grudge.png
Gellar as Karen Davis
First appearanceThe Grudge
Last appearanceThe Grudge 2
Created byStephen Susco
Portrayed bySarah Michelle Gellar
FamilyAubrey Davis
(sister; deceased)
Mrs. Davis
(mother; deceased)
Significant other(s)Doug
(boyfriend; deceased)
Cause of deathFalling off of building
(Murdered by Kayako Saeki)

Karen Davis (portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar) is a fictional character from The Grudge. Being the central character, she uncovers the Saeki house's dark past and is the only one to survive the first film. She returns in The Grudge 2 and compels her sister, Aubrey, to put a stop to the curse. Her portrayal was met with critical acclaim by critics and the films crew.[1]

Character arc[edit]

The Grudge[edit]

Karen's first encounter with Kayako

Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is the main protagonist of The Grudge. She is an American social worker who moves with her boyfriend, Doug, to Tokyo. She volunteers to take care of a woman named Emma Williams when Emma's first caretaker, Yoko, does not show up to work. When Kayako Saeki, an undead woman bound to a curse, starts killing people around her, she starts investigating the curse's origin. She decides to head back to the house to keep Doug from falling to the curse, but fails. Karen then tries to stop the curse by burning down the house, but this instead releases the curse.

The Grudge 1.5[edit]

In the animated short film The Grudge 1.5, Karen is rescued by a young Chinese journalist, Eason when he arrives the house on fire to find Detective Nakagawa, but he saves Karen before they were attacked by Kayako and the two make it out alive and Karen is taken to the hospital.

The Grudge 2[edit]

The second installment reveals that Karen was hospitalized after the events of the first film. She is now paranoid, traumatized, and frantic to stop Kayako. She is visited by her sister Aubrey, who was sent by their mother. Later, Kayako resurfaces and grabs her arm; panicked, she frees herself and evades Kayako and the police. When she reaches the roof of the hospital, she backs away to the edge of the roof and Kayako pushes her off to her death.


Gellar received praise for her performance in the first film,[2] and many of them referenced her performances as the reason for the film's success.[3] Upon her appearance in The Grudge 2, she received praise again but also received mixed reviews due to the character's surprise death.[4]


Before Gellar was cast, numerous other actresses were suggested, such as Selma Blair; the two of them had previously starred together in the teen movie Cruel Intentions. The role eventually went to Gellar, who was known for her work in horror films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream 2.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sarah Michelle Gellar: "The Grudge" Interview | Horror.com". www.horror.com. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ "Karen Davis | ilikehorrormovies". www.ilikehorrormovies.com. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The Grudge Movie Review & Film Summary (2004) | Roger Ebert". rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  4. ^ "The Grudge 2 Movie CLIP - Chased in the Hospital". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  5. ^ The Grudge (2004), retrieved 2017-12-09