Is The Grudge Based on a True Story? Plot, Cast, Where to watch and More

The Grudge (2004)

“The Grudge” is a 2004 supernatural horror film directed by Takashi Shimizu, a remake of his 2002 Japanese movie “Ju-On: The Grudge.” It features stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Behr and is the first film in The Grudge series, based on the Japanese Ju-On films. The plot, told in a non-linear way, involves various interconnected subplots.

Following the success of “The Ring” remake in 2002, Sony Pictures approved an American version of “Ju-On: The Grudge,” with Shimizu directing and Stephen Susco writing the screenplay. Filming occurred in Tokyo, Japan, starting in January and wrapping up in July 2004. Released on October 22, 2004, in North America, the film achieved commercial success, grossing $187.3 million against a $10 million budget.

Despite this, critics gave mixed reviews, criticizing its logic and lack of scares. It became the first horror film since 1999’s “House on Haunted Hill” to top the Halloween box office. Two sequels followed, “The Grudge 2” (2006) and “The Grudge 3” (2009), along with a stand-alone sequel in 2020 titled “The Grudge: The Untold Chapter.”

Is The Grudge Based on a True Story?

No, “The Grudge” is not directly based on a true story, but it draws inspiration from real Japanese urban legends. The series, particularly the latest addition, “Ju-On: Origins,” incorporates elements from three legends. One involves Kayako, a woman whose tragic story mirrors the Ju-On narrative.

Another legend is about Oiwa, a woman seeking revenge on her dishonorable husband, inspiring various horror works. The third legend, Kuchisake-onna, the slit-mouthed woman, also influences the series. These legends, rooted in Japanese folklore, provide the eerie and supernatural themes in “The Grudge” franchise. While not directly factual, these legends contribute to the unsettling atmosphere of the horror series.

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The Grudge Plot

“The Grudge” tells the story of a curse that arises when someone dies in intense anger or sorrow. The curse lingers where the person passed away, causing death to anyone who encounters it and passing the curse from victim to victim in a never-ending chain of horror. In 2001, Kayako Saeki, a Tokyo housewife, is murdered by her jealous husband Takeo, along with their son Toshio and the cat Mar. Kayako’s vengeful ghost haunts Takeo, leading to his demise.

In 2004, the Williams family moves into the Saeki house, where the curse unfolds again. Yoko, a care worker, encounters Kayako and disappears, leading Karen Davis to take over the care of Emma, who is haunted by Kayako. The police get involved, finding the bodies of previous victims.

Karen’s boyfriend Doug is drawn to the haunted house, resulting in a tragic end. Karen, determined to break the curse, learns about its history from Detective Nakagawa. Despite attempts to burn down the house, the curse survives, and Karen realizes she is still haunted. The film portrays a chilling cycle of supernatural horror that persists beyond the bounds of life and death.

The Grudge Cast



Sarah Michelle Gellar

Karen Davis

Jason Behr

Doug McCarthy

KaDee Strickland

Susan Williams

William Mapother

Matthew “Matt” Williams

Clea DuVall

Jennifer “Jen” Williams

Grace Zabriskie

Emma Williams

Bill Pullman

Peter Kirk

Rosa Blasi

Maria Kirk

Ted Raimi

Alex Jones

Ryo Ishibashi

Det. Hideto Nakagawa

Yōko Maki

Yoko Sekine

Takako Fuji

Kayako Saeki

Yuya Ozeki

Toshio Saeki

Takashi Matsuyama

Takeo Saeki

Where to watch The Grudge

You can watch “The Grudge” (2004) on Amazon Prime Video through streaming. This means you don’t need to download or buy the movie separately; you can simply access it on the Amazon Prime Video platform. The film, directed by Takashi Shimizu and featuring stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Behr, is available for streaming, allowing you to watch it at your convenience.

Amazon Prime Video is a popular streaming service where you can find a variety of movies, TV shows, and exclusive content with a subscription. So, if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can easily enjoy “The Grudge” and explore other available content on the platform.

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