The Grudge

  • Review Date: January 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Grisly ghost story lacks plot; not for tweens.
  • Review Date: January 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 96 minutes





What parents need to know


Frequent intense peril and violence, suicide, characters killed, many grisly and disgusting images.


Non-explicit sexual situation.


Brief strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a very scary movie with a great deal of tension, many jump-out-at-you surprises, graphic violence, and frequent grisly and disgusting images, including graphic wounds, suicide, dead bodies and pieces of dead bodies. Characters also drink and smoke and use strong language.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

An American exchange student (Sarah Michelle Gellar as Karen) in Japan is sent out as a substitute for the caregiver of a woman suffering from some dementia. The woman is an American, living with her son and daughter-in-law, and with a daughter living nearby. It turns out the house was once the site of great rage and anguish, giving rise to a curse that attacks anyone who enters.

Is it any good?


THE GRUDGE is one of those "Don't go into the house" movies, a remake of a popular Japanese horror film by Takashi Shimizu, the writer/director of the original. Shimizu makes good use of shifts in time to pull us into what little story there is. The usual ghost activities (messing up the house, stalking people) are updated a little bit. These ghosts can call a cell phone and get from the lobby to the 16th floor very quickly. There are some creepy images and gotcha scares but nothing can disguise the fact that this is just a "who gets it next and how does he get it" movie. Too much of it is familiar, though, from the mysteriously feral child to the backwards-crab-crawling guy looking horrified at some looming presence. You know if a bloody jaw with teeth shows up, eventually we're going to have to find out where, or should I say who, it came from.

Indeed, the biggest problem with the film is that, like many American remakes (Wicker Park is one recent example), feels it has to explain too much. We get a helpful little ghost re-enactment of the whole story. Horror movies are much more horrifying when they leave the explanation to that part of our imagination where our own deepest fears lie, so each of us can feel personally unsettled right where we live.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the enduring appeal of ghost stories and their own views on whether strong emotions can continue to "occupy" a place. They might also want to find out more about efforts to investigate real-life reports of ghosts and curses.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 22, 2004
DVD release date:February 1, 2005
Cast:Jason Behr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, William Mapother
Director:Takashi Shimizu
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature thematic material, disturbing images/terror/violence, and some sensuality

This review of The Grudge was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byiluvtheexorcist33 November 23, 2011

it was fine :\

SPOILERS!!! very confusing, i didnt know what was goin on half the time. there were some scenes that made me jump,but i jump in almost any movie (narnia,happy feet lol). A suggestion 4 a good horror movie is the exorcist or the shining ( they're my favs).But there wasn't really anything wrong with this movie other than alot of the scenes the scary girl looked fake, to me anyway and that it was confusing, i didn't understand the story very much other than this girl had a crush on this guy and then her husband killed her and whenever any1 goes in the house they die, kinda like the ring i think.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old September 17, 2010


This movie was scary so if you're just watching it to be scared you should watch it. If you're going to watch it to be scared AND see a good film that's fast-paced, well acted and has a good script don't even bother. It was scary but it was also very boring and just dumb. I just bought Ju-On, the original, so we'll see how that goes.
Kid, 12 years old June 16, 2011

The Grudge

I saw this movie when I was 11 and personally, if your child is at a sleepover, you know that usually that there's a scary movie. I saw this at a sleepover with my friends and I do have to admit it is a great scare, it's probably one of the scariest films of all-time. It's extremley fun to watch this movie with friends, as a lot of horror films. I think that if you have a mature 12 year-old it's okay to let them see it. If they're 13 then, its pretty okay. If they're 14 they can definitley watch it. This movie is unlike a lot of scary movie NOW, which usually have extreme sexual content, language, and gore. This movie has minimal sexual content. Doesn't have a lot of language, it's appropraite for a soft PG-13. The gore is not that gory this movie leaves a lot to the imagination about how people die. I think that if you're child wants to see it and you know that they'll be able to handle it, you should let them see it. Great film.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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