Mar (マー, Mā) is Toshio's pet cat seen prominently throughout the franchise. A black cat, Mar is murdered under the insane anger of Toshio's father, Takeo, after he discovers his wife's secret feelings towards another man. In both versions, Toshio's strong emotional connection to his pet causes his ghost to emit an eerie meowing sound. Mar is a common form of apparition in the franchise.
History[edit | edit source]
Japanese films[edit | edit source]
Mar was grabbed and taken to the empty bathtub by Takeo, where the cat was stabbed to death. While at the Saeki house, Kobayashi later had a brief vision of the murdered cat in the bloody bathtub. Going upstairs, Kobayashi heard a conversation between Toshio and his mother, to whom Toshio complained that Takeo had killed Mar in cold blood without showing any remorse. Kobayashi found Toshio alone in the room making several drawings of black cats. Kazumi was led by Mar to the closet room, where she was suffocated to death by the curse. Rika discovered Mar and then Toshio, under in his living form, trapped inside the closet. She was later haunted by several apparitions of Mar in her bedroom. Cursed, Kyoko and Masashi were tricked by thinking Kyoko had passed over the cat with their car, and the couple saw Mar's dead body on the asphalt moments before his ghostly owner appeared.
After Kayako (and perhaps Toshio) were reborn through Kyoko's pregnancy, Mar's ghost was never seen again and, as the curse itself, is currently unclear if his spirit vanished.
American films[edit | edit source]
Mar was grabbed and taken by Takeo to the filled bathtub, where he had just drowned Toshio to death, drowning the cat as well. Due to their strong emotional link in life, the spirits of Toshio and Mar merged, causing the ghost to meow to its cursed victims. While checking out the house her brother would buy, Susan found a cat figurine and some drawings of cats at a wall. Jennifer followed an apparition of Mar to her bedroom, where she was suffocated by the curse. Matthew later arrived and was haunted by the ghosts of Toshio and Mar at the bedroom, only to be taken over by the grudge.
Some days later, Karen discovered Toshio and Mar trapped inside the closet. After she attempted to end the curse by setting the house on fire, Karen had a vision of the Saeki family alive. Toshio, with Mar in hand, turned to her. Miyuki and Allison, schoolmates who had stepped inside the house, were haunted by Mar in their classroom.
Mar is not seen in The Grudge 3 due to budget constraints. His meow can still be heard coming from Toshio’s mouth however.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In the Kei Ohishi Ju-on novel, Kayako reveals in the prologue that she also owned a pet cat in life, named Kuro.
- Yūya Ozeki who portrayed Toshio in Ju-on: The Grudge, Ju-on: The Grudge 2 and The Grudge, was reportedly terrified of cats.
- In Japan, it’s commonly believed that black cats can bring good luck to a household. This can be seen as rather ironic, given the ultimate fate of the Saeki family.
- Mar is unnamed in the American films. He is still commonly referred to as Mar by fans however.
- Due to the shoestring budget of The Grudge 3 ($5 million), Mar could ultimately not be included in the film.
- Mar usually just haunts cursed characters rather than harming them. However, it’s strongly implied that he possessed Sally, as her odd behavior included excessive consumption of milk and cereal.