The Grudge

1 h 31 min2004X-RayPG-13
An American nurse living in Tokyo is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim.
Takashi Shimizu
Sarah Michelle GellarJason BehrWilliam Mapother
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Supporting actors
Clea DuVallKaDee StricklandGrace ZabriskieBill PullmanRoas BlasiTed Raimi
Taka IchiseSam RaimiRob Tapert
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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Smokingfoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.3 out of 5 stars

3577 global ratings

  1. 65% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

John GarganiReviewed in the United States on December 4, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
quite possibly, the dumbest movie ever made!!
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When I saw this back in 2004, it made no sense then either, but, the shock effect of the sudden noises, scary faces, etc., at least made you jump.

However, these many years later, on second viewing, this was the flimsiest plot and stretched implausibility to the moon and back!! How is it, that when two innocent people ( wife and young son ) are brutally murdered by a jealous Father, that they now somehow come back as crazy rabid hateful ghosts who persist in tracking down and killing anyone who crosses their path?? And better yet, they now have all sorts of supernatural powers, power to appear and re-appear wherever they want, make you die of fright ( like the ring ) and generally trash the house for any people who happen to try to live in it.

And forget the old "stay out of the haunted house" genre: these ghosts travel! They come to your work place, they come to your apartment, they crawl into your bed....and then, no one can find you, you just disappear somehow, pulled into the great beyond...LOL.....

And anyone who know anything about Japanese ghost movies: the ghost ALWAYS wins! you NEVER beat the ghost...even if you uncover exactly what happened, or try to rectify it in any way, it doesn't matter: they always come back and get you in the end, with a hanging ending tailor made for part 2 and part 3 , soon to come......

And on top of that, the story is presented in a jumbled back and forth in time, out of sequence, events, and without the benefit of simple subtitles like: "5 years ago", or something to that just kind of have to piece it together and figure it out on your own.....

but when the smoke settles, you have a screen littered with bodies, all innocent and all having nothing to do with the original tragedy that occurred in the house.

If you have never seen it, prepare to jump, but if you view it again, you will wonder how they ever got away with this mess of a story.
16 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on November 20, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Captures the mood and feel of the Japanese original
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The Grudge was the American produced re-make of Ju-On. Both had the same director Takashi Shimizu who also wrote the original. In Tokyo a husband killed his wife and child inside their house. Anyone that entered it was cursed by their dead souls. The movie did a good job capturing the mood and feel of the Japanese story.

The film contained many of the main elements from Ju-On. There was the haunted the house, the old woman that moved in, her caretakers, the police officer, and most importantly the ghosts of the dead family that start popping up. They were all done well again bringing the same style.

Also like the original The Grudge is not really a scary movie. It’s more like a thriller as the ghosts come to terrorize everyone they meet.

Overall The Grudge was just as good as the original which was quite an accomplishment.
4 people found this helpful
WilfReviewed in the United States on October 30, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
SCARY! A good supernatural flick
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Don't worry that it was released in 2004. I didn't watch it until around 2009 and then several times since and it's still pretty scary. What heightens the anxiety in the film is a thing of malevolence and its imprint on a house and all who have crossed its thresh hold. The other thing is the house is at the end of a street, but not really off the beaten path except that it's tucked near a walled pedestrian/ roadway that creates a visually isolated feeling from whatever other houses there are. You don't see them but occasionally hear a dog bark. The home is a Japanese home but from the instant you see it, it feels restrictive and not flowing...and I think its why the minute the viewer "steps inside", they sense something is off. Once out of the common area downstairs everything is highly minimized, dark, dreary and oppressive. Downstairs isn't much better but there are shoji styled Japanese doors that open to the outside and in one brief scene Gellar is outside hanging laundry and also sponge bathing the elderly resident who lives there in the fresh air. You have a momentary reprieve from all that is soon to follow and it comes pretty quick. The direction of the film is excellent and done in a way to optimize each little impact. They start by your witnessing one event, that has actually taken place 3 years earlier, then move to another happening at present. You don't know this until more background info is being shared by certain people involved. People who seem to have little involvement at all, and who are not main characters (ie., the rental agent) where you're are left to wonder what became of him, or the partner detective or others such as the EMT workers who actually also entered the house at one time or another. However the story doesn't really focus or follow them -- it remains focused on 2 families, and certain number of outsiders who also end up crossing paths with them. I won't give away with too many detail...But there are some very scary scenes. One is where the sister of the second family who's just moved in and who actually lives on her own and has her own apartment elsewhere and what happens within those scenes.. Again, creepy and the end result is a horror story that doesn't try too hard to make sense of anything other than all of this began with one very awful event which is rooted in the psychological and physical actions of one tormented evil person. If evil can possess a thing long after an event occurs, the message is that relatively innocent yet NON random people aren't safe. Not even when they are no longer in the place where that event took place....
6 people found this helpful
ManiacalSparkReviewed in the United States on January 2, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Good but dated horror film.
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This was the first scary movie to ever give me a true nightmare. I was in my late teens when the film came out and having never seen Japanese horror before and having only ever seen slasher films or gore-lined films such as Halloween, Friday The 13th, Alien and other Western horror classic, I was not prepared for the amount of dread this film created.

That being said, watching it again many years later, the film is a convoluted mess with several different stories being told in non-chronological order across the film and while the scares are still good it does make the film worse than I remember it being.
8 people found this helpful
GuinnessFanReviewed in the United States on May 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Well Worth the Time
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Horror is not my usual fare. I only watch these type of movies occasionally, so perhaps I simply haven't seen enough to become completely jaded to the genre. From my perspective, this was an excellent movie. Not really atypical: plenty of jump scares, as expected. (Is that an oxymoron?) It's a haunting scenario which is perhaps ever so slightly better premised than the typical American horror story. Everything is explained, but not so early in the movie that it ruins it. As far as I'm concerned, the story is only important to such an extent that it doesn't get in the way of the cinematography. Jump scares, music that builds the tension of the audience in just the right places, and reveals that give you chills are what horror is all about. In that regard, this movie does an excellent job.
James C.Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Lazy attempt at horror
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I am a pretty big fan of horror flicks and this one never quite made it to the level I can appreciate. There was never really enough exposition into the backstory of the ghost(s) and naturally everyone in the film makes the worst possible decisions. Not to mention the antagonist wasn't really that scary, and there wasn't much of a psychological element to it either. Basically it seemed like "go in house, you die". Even The Ring had more substance.
5 people found this helpful
cookieman108Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
"The whole time I was in that house I felt something was wrong. "
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If I learned anything from watching The Grudge (2004) last night its that malevolent spirits are very messy, and don't pick up after themselves. Perhaps that's part of their modus operandi...they come into your home, create a huge mess, and then while your attention is focused on cleaning up the place, that's when they choose to scare the heebie jeebies out of you. Well, few things, cinematically speaking, scare the heebie jeebies out of me anymore (real life is infinitely more frightening), but I did think this film was, at the very least, entertaining, and provided some spooky visuals and an interesting and fairly simple story. Co-written and directed by Takashi Shimizu, The Grudge is actually a remake of a Japanese film he did previously titled Ju-on: The Grudge (2003), which I have not seen, so I can't comment or compare without sounding foolish. Appearing in the film is Sarah Michelle Gellar (I Know What You Did Last Summer)...does anyone else find it slightly pretentious to consistently use all three names? But I digress...also appearing is Jason Behr ("Dawson's Creek"), William Mapother (Lords of Dogtown), Clea DuVall (Identity), KaDee Strickland (Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid), Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me), Ted Raimi (Man with the Screaming Brain), Ryo Ishibashi (Dog Star), and Bill Pullman, the guy who played the President of the United States in Roland Emmerich's bloated and flawed science fiction orgasmofest masterpiece Independence Day (1996)...I rip on Emmerich because I think he's one of the worst kinds of filmmakers (load the movie with costly special effects to hide the fact its lacking in everything else, including an actual story) but in a purely visual sense his films can be fun...

The film begins with some text telling us that when a really angry person bites during a fit of unprecedented rage, the negative energies stick around, creating some wickedly awesome bad mojo that waits to glom onto unsuspecting individuals who happen to visit the area, thus consuming their juicy and effervescent life force. Sarah Michelle Gellar plays Karen Davis, an exchange student living in Japan with her boyfriend Doug (Behr) who's quite the hunk with his perfectly tousled know the style, it's the one that someone spends two hours and a whole lot of money at the hairdressers for to get that `just woke up' look (I get it every morning for free)...anyway, Karen, who's a nurse of sorts, receives an assignment to provide daytime care for a really creepy infirmed elderly woman (Zabriskie) after the mysterious disappearance of the previous caregiver named Yoko...alas, poor Yoko, I knew her not, Horatio, but she was a pretty, young, hello kitty maiden...anyway, Karen arrives at the house, sensing something odd, but goes about performing her chores. Turns out the crazy lady lives with her son (Mapother) and his wife (DuVall), neither of whom return home, prompting Karen to call her boss (Raimi) as she doesn't want to leave the goony old bat alone...but guess what? They're not least not in that house, as it has a violent history, and something was left behind, something in the form of a small, nekkid Japanese boy with a whole lot of eyeliner...and a big mouth...(the evil takes on many forms, but this was the oddest)

First of all, does anyone else think William Mapother is kinda creepy? I'm not talking about his character, but the man himself...his face is all scrunched up and too small for his head, reminding me of one of those angry midgets from the Phantasm movies...well, I suppose I'm no Adonis myself, and he's probably a very kind I said before, I enjoyed this film. It sort of reminded me of a Japanese version of The Amityville Horror, but, instead of Satan moving in and causing all sorts of mischief, we have a nondescript evil entity, the result of a past incident of great anger and violence (the Japanese detective referred to it an `emotional stain'), indiscriminately preying on unsuspecting visitors who happen to enter the abode. I might be tempted to label this a haunted house story, but that's not entirely true as the malevolent force wasn't confined to the house, but rather latched on to individuals who spent time within the four walls, and subsequently followed them wherever they went until...well, let's just say following them around was by far the least harmful thing it would do...the story was actually pretty simple, but told in a way to make it appear more complicated. What I mean is instead of proceeding on a linear path, the film is edited in such a way that we see past sequences mixed in with scenes of the present, as they story crosses timeline boundaries, weaving three, connected tales into one. This kind of thing can get messed up very easily, but here they kept it clean, orderly, and understandable. The main one involves Sarah Michelle Gellar's character, the second involves the family currently residing in the house, and the third features the family that lived in the house three years past, and the ones responsible for all the stuff going on presently. Oddly, there seemed to be less focus on the characters and more on the story itself, which may be a result of cultural differences, I'm not sure, but it felt intentional, so I went with it...there are some good scares throughout the film, many the result of something seemingly innocuous in the background coming forth to surprise an unsuspecting audience, along with a few, drawn out sequences designed to create a sense of suspense. The overall effect for me was a permeating sense of unease, as the evil was clinging to the characters, biding its time. Overall I thought the cinematography was really beautiful, and I especially liked those long and foreboding shots, as they developed a real sense of tension. If you're looking for some visceral thrills, you'll probably be disappointed as the blood n' guts factor is minimal, but in terms of a spooky ghost story, the film does very well. I have only seen the PG-13 version, but there is an R rated directors cut available on DVD, one that features about six or seven minutes of extra footage.

The picture on this DVD, presented in widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic high definition, looks very sharp and clean and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio comes through very well. The PG-13 version that I have has a commentary track with producer Sam Raimi, screenwriter Stephen Susco, actors Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ted Raimi, KaDee Strickland, and Jason Behr, along with a couple of others. It also features a five part, `making of' documentary titled `A Powerful Rage', a featurette titled `Under the Skin' - A medical explanation of fear response in film, along with trailers, one for this film, along with The Forgotten (2004), Guess Who (2005), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004), Boogeyman (2005), Riding Giants (2004), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Man of the House (2005), and Mirrormask (2005). The Director's Cut DVD contains a few more extras, so if you are planning on buying this film, keep an eye on which version you're getting, depending on what you're looking for...


By the way, did anyone notice how I got through this entire review without mentioning The Ring (2002)?
9 people found this helpful
MichelleReviewed in the United States on October 30, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
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My mother rented this movie when it first came out, this was when I was pretty young so I didn't get the chance to see it. She said it was one of creepiest movies she's ever seen. Now that I'm older I went ahead and bought it and I'm very glad I did! It was indeed creepy. It's one of those movies that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You also have to play very close attention because there is always something going on, even if it's in the background. It definitely made me jump. So I would recommend this film if your into these types of movies. Although I will say it's not the scariest movie I've ever seen, but that's just my opinion and everyone's different. I don't want to go too much into detail and reveal too much about it so you can be surprised and see for yourself! You really can't go wrong with the price! :)
4 people found this helpful
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