Sarah Michelle Gellar, The Grudge

Columbia TriStar

15 years ago, Sarah Michelle Gellar faced down a danger that would scare off even the most fearless of slayers.

In The Grudge, a remake of the 2002 Japanese horror film Ju-on, the actress starred as Karen Davis, an American social worker new to Tokyo who begins work as a caretaker for an elderly woman living in a house literally haunted by its gruesome past. it was an important role for Gellar, having just wrapped Buffy the Vampire Slayer after seven seasons and fulfilled her two-film contract as Daphne in the live-action Scooby-Doo franchise. 

"I was on this hit show. I had this amazing character. I had an obligation to a second Scooby movie. And then it was time for me to go, 'OK, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?' This movie was the first movie that came along where I had this desire in my gut to be a part of it, and it was a feeling I hadn't had since Cruel Intentions," she told The Associated Press ahead of the film's October 22, 2004 release.

The feeling paid off. The Grudge was a surprise success, kickstarting a franchise that spawned two more films, with another—whatever you do, don't call it a reboot—coming our way in 2020. 

In honor of 15 truly terrifying years since The Grudge first creeped it way into our lives, let's take a look at the 15 spookiest secrets to come out of the franchise. 

Sarah Michelle Gellar, The Grudge

Snap Stills/Shutterstock

Takako Fuji, The Grudge

Snap Stills/Shutterstock

Amber Tamblyn, The Grudge 2

Snap Stills/Shutterstock

Misako Uno, Teresa Palmer, The Grudge 2

Snap Stills/Shutterstock

The Grudge 3

Sony Pictures

The Grudge 3

Sony Pictures

The Grudge 2020

Allen Fraser

The Grudge 2020

Allen Fraser

The Grudge hits theaters on January 3, 2020.

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