An American caregiver investigates the motives of a vengeful Japanese ghost who wants to kill everything in its path. Karen is assigned a new client, the almost catatonic Emma, living in a haunted home in Japan. The house has a horrid past, once occupied by a couple Kayako and Takeo, and their young son Toshio. When Takeo learns that Kayako is obsessed with another man, an American professor Peter, he kills both his wife and son in a mental rage, before ending his life as well. He then hides the bodies in the house. Peter too dies, jumping off his balcony when he learns of Kayako's murder. A curse is now born on the house and whoever inhabits it. The next family that moves in are American expats, the Williams. A man and wife, with their ill mother Emma. Soon, they too are harassed by the ghosts of all three. The couple dies, as if abducted by Toshio and Kayako. The next day, the current caregiver Yoko drops by and finds Emma, she is also taken and killed by Kayako. Karen is now assigned to Emma, and Toshio and Kayako appear to her and she passes out. Emma is now dead, and Karen survives and asks the investigators about the house and learns its history. Meanwhile, the ghosts have killed the sister of the Williams guy, Karen's boss, and now, the lead investigator of the case who tries to burn down the house to no success. When Karen returns to the house to look for her boyfriend Doug, she finds him hurt and the ghosts attack them. A fire is about to start but Karen is able to get out. Doug dies, Karen recuperates, but since the house was never burned, she is still haunted by Kayako.
Best part of story, including ending:
I like the setting, and the Japanese-American cross-culture aspect of it. The Americans get their dose of Japanese culture by way of terror.
Best scene in story:
When Kayako crawls down the stairs in a twisted state.
Opinion about the main character:
Karen should've quit when she was ahead, and just let the investigation go.