The Grudge (Ju-on) is a Japanese horror movie that was released in 2003. The film was directed by Takashi Shimizu and was originally slated to be the third film in a series, but ended up being the first in the theaters as the other two movies were released directly onto video. The movie was quickly remade into an American version, also called The Grudge, and has since made millions upon millions of dollars in both countries. Shimizu has plans on continuing The Grudge saga with even more movies.
The movie is about Rika, a volunteer social worker who takes care of patients who can not take care of themselves. She has been given an assignment to take care of a woman named Tokunaga Sachie. Sachie is an old woman who is in a persistent catatonic state, though on one knows why. She enters the home to find it almost destroyed, with Sachie in sorry shape. Rika cleans her up and then sets to straightening the house out. She hears a noise upstairs and heads up to see what it could possibly be.
Inside a bedroom she sees a closet that has been taped shut. Rika finds this od and removes the tape and opens the door. A black cat is there along with a boy. She realizes that it is the same boy she has seen in some of the family photos downstairs. She takes the boy downstairs and immediately calls the local social services. When she hangs the phone up she sees that the boy has followed her. She asks him what his name is and he tells her that it is Toshio.
Suddenly Rika hears Sachie making strange noises. She rushes to her side to see what is going on and is scared when she sees a huge shadow crawling across the room. A pair of eyes appear in the shadow and Rika faints.
The story then jumps to Kazumi, who is Sachie’s daughter-in-law. She tells her husband, Katsuya, that she is having problems sleeping, then reminds him that his sister Hitomi is coming over to the house for dinner in the evening. Kazumi, tired from a long night, falls asleep on the couch. She wakes up to find a black cat standing on her stairs. She sees arms reach out to take the cat but she is pulled in now and wants to know what is going on, so she goes upstairs.
Katsuya is confused when he comes home and finds Kazumi on her bed, unable to speak. He turns and finds Toshio standing in the room. When his sister comes over for the promised dinner, she finds Katsuya sitting on the stairs mumbling. He makes her leave the house without giving her any answers.
The movie circles around Katsuya, Kazumi, Hitomi, Rika and the mysteriously Toshio. It builds up suspense and makes the viewer question everything. It is based on an old Japanese legend that states that when somebody dies in extreme sorrow or rage, the emotion stays in the place where the person was killed. In extreme cases, death actually becomes a part of the home and does everything it can to kill anything in its path.