Ju-On revolves around a curse that was created due to a victim that holds a grudge against someone. The spirits in Ju-On were specifically created from a man that murders his family in a fit of rage. Takeo Saeki starts to think that his wife Kayako might be cheating on him and of the possibility that their son Toshio might not be his. Takeo waits for Kayako to return home and he beats her and snaps her neck. She is still alive as he puts her in a garbage bag and all she can do is let out a painful moan. Takeo then stabs her, then he drowns Toshio and his beloved pet cat in the bathtub.
Now the spirit of Kayako and Toshio haunt the Saeki house and kill anyone who sets foot inside. They are also able to kill people wherever the curse is spread. The curse is spread to other places if the spirits follow someone who set foot in the Saeki residence to another location and that person is killed. That person may then manifest as a curse and also kill people in the same way from wherever they reside, not from the Saeki residence necessarily.
You will know that Kayako is around when you can hear her death rattle. Toshio will make angry cat sounds.
The story of the Ju-On series starts with the Tokunaga family which is a man, his wife, and his mother who is sick. This family buys the house that the vengeful spirit Kayako resides in or haunts, but they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. This family is killed by the spirit, except for the ill mother and then social worker Rika is sent to the house by her boss to care for the ill mother. Rika finds Toshio and then sees Kayako’s spirit kill the mother. Rika later finds out about the deaths of the Tokunaga family and learns about the history of the house. The spirits then haunt Rika and the beginning story follows Rika as she tries fending off the spirits of this curse.
The Ju-On series has a collection of 8 novels, 3 comics, 1 graphic novel, and 1 video game.
Here is a list of the Ju-On films and order! I also labeled the ones that were the American remakes. This will help you keep track of ones you’ve watched and ones you’ve missed if any.
Ju-On: The Curse (2000)
Ju-On: The Curse 2 (2000)
Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)
Ju-On: The Grudge 2 (2003)
The Grudge (2004) (American)
The Grudge 2 (2006) (American)
The Grudge 3 (2009) (American)
Ju-On: White Ghost (2009)
Ju-On: Black Ghost (2009)
Ju-On: The Beginning of the End (2014)
Ju-On: The Final Curse (2015)
Sadako vs. Kayako (2016)
Keep an eye out for an American reboot Grudge to be released on January 3rd, 2020!
This will be the first American Grudge film that will have zero involvement with Takashi Shimizu, who directed the original Ju-On movies and two of the American remakes.
The original plan for this remake was to reboot the entire series from the beginning but starting it with a different family (not the Saeki family). However, rumors have been going around saying that this remake will take place after the set of previous American remakes.
Sadako vs. Kayako (Ringu vs. Ju-On)
The crossover movie between the Ju-On series and the Ring series.
The two vengeful spirits come to meet each other because a pair of university students get a hold of the cursed videotape, where if it is watched, Sadako who is the vengeful spirit from the Ring, will manifest herself and will kill the person that watched the tape in a number of days.
When the university students get spooked by this, they learn about the curse from the shop they bought the tape in and go to seek help from a professor who is into urban legends, an exorcist, and then are forced to seek help from a psychic who was called for help, before the professor and exorcist were eliminated.
The psychic girl tells the students that the only way to get rid of a curse like this is to bring the one vengeful spirit to another vengeful spirit so they destroy each other. One of the students goes to attempt to commit suicide and before her friend can get to her to help her, Sadako gets to her first and hangs her.
The psychic and her assistant Keizo know of the vengeful spirit that haunts the Saeki residence and decide that that’s where they are going to bring Sadako.
There is a high school student that is being beckoned to the Saeki house and she is having dreams of the house. So Keizo and the psychic girl bring her to the house to watch the cursed tape inside this house and then have the remaining uni student see Kayako, the vengeful spirit of the house. If this works, it should get the spirits to fight over the two girls and destroy each other.
Ju-On: The Grudge Haunted House Simulator was a game released in 2009 for the Nintendo Wii game system. The game was made in honor of the Ju-On series’s 10th anniversary. The Haunted House Simulator is a single player survival horror game that follows a family who moves into a cursed house.
You can play each family member as a character in the game and the game plays in ‘episodes’. There are 5 stages that can be played in the game: a warehouse, hospital, mannequin factory, an abandoned apartment building, and the Saeki residence.
When you play, you use the Wii remote to use your flashlight in the game and you can find batteries throughout the level to replenish this flashlight. If you stay in one place for too long or you move too slow, Kayako will appear!
Kayako and Toshio
Takako Fuji, the actress for the main ghost in the series has made and Instagram for Kayako Saeki and it also features the small boy spirit, Toshio.
I will be eagerly anticipating the reboot for this series! We will see where it goes in 2020. If there is something covered in this post that you didn’t previously know about, I’d love to hear it! Honestly, I forgot there was a game from this series made for the Wii! The first time I watched the first two movies that were the American reboots of this series, I was pretty young so I didn’t quite grasp all of the details of the past and what happened. I would even make fun of some things that didn’t seem to make sense to me, but now that I have looked more closely at the details so I can share it with you, I understand way better and you know I am going to watch this series over again! If you are new to the series or are just learning about it, let us know if you did decide to watch it and what you thought of it!