FACES BEHIND THE HORROR VILLAINS

Takako Fuji (The Grudge)

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2004’s The Grudge turned out to be little more than another unambitious Hollywood rehash of a J-horror favorite, though in theory it should have been at least as good as the Japanese version. Takashi Shimizu (director of the original Ju-on) agreed to helm the Americanized remake, and he was joined by Takako Fuji, the woman behind creepy-as-hell ghost Kayako.

Speaking to IGN, Fuji admitted that the difference in budgets was stark. “The Hollywood remake obviously is a bigger production,” she said. “We were able to build the sets and everything, where we can do more stuff. So contrary to Japanese production, we have to use existing houses and we are not allowed to use different equipment and stuff, so we have to use whatever is available to us.” Alas, the reboot proved far less popular with critics than the bare-bones original.

Fuji reprised the role of Kayako in 2006’s The Grudge 2 (the sixth time she’d played the vengeful ghost), and while this installment was flat-out panned, the character still left a mark on the horror genre Stateside. “I feel that some of the reasons are because typical American ghosts are zombies and demons and stuff like that, but when it comes to the Japanese ghosts it’s more like a grudge,” Fuji explained. “People’s feelings are into it. I think that’s something new to America. I think that’s maybe what makes it scary.”

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