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Vanessa is the tertiary antagonist from The Grudge 2. She is an American student attending Tokyo's International High School with Miyuki Nazawa and Allison Fleming.
She was portrayed by Teresa Palmer, who later portrayed Becky Barnes in The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Rebecca in Lights Out.
Vanessa was a stereotypical "snotty, popular mean girl" student from the International School and best friends to another student named Miyuki. As Chicago's newcomer Allison was still climbing the social ladder, she wanted to join their friendship, so Vanessa offered her a test: to enter an abandoned, house that belonged to Kayako Saeki, and was said to be "one of the most haunted houses in all of Japan". Vanessa somehow knew about the house's murderous background (i.e. Doug's death) and its inhabitant curse but demonstrated to be skeptical about it. The three schoolgirls then broke into the house two years, after a girl (Karen) set a fire that "killed" her boyfriend two years before (in reality he was killed by Kayako). Allison agreed to stand in the closet (where Yoko was killed at the beginning of the first movie) but Allison encountered a woman's ghost inside the wardrobe that caused them to run away screaming.
Vanessa, however, still taunted Allison about her fear and her visits to the school's counselor, unaware that Miyuki was also being stalked by the ghosts. Vanessa then saw that she was shedding black hair, which was odd because her hair was blond. She also saw Kayako watching over her in the school's locker room, which made her urinate herself and run through the halls in fear. She was then advised by a teacher that the counselor wanted to see her as well. At the Counselor's room, Vanessa met a startled Allison, who told her that Miyuki was missing (although she was unaware that Miyuki was dead). Allison then blamed Vanessa for what had been happening to her, and ran off the room. The Counselor followed her and Vanessa, left alone, sent a text message to Miyuki that read "where r u ?". Toshio appeared, causing her to run out of the room as well.
She ran down in the streets, terrified and realizing that the Saeki curse was real, she entered a payphone booth and attempted to call Miyuki one last time, only to hear Kayako's death rattle. Toshio appears at her feet, Vanessa then met her fate as Kayaks consumes Vanessa her with her hair.
Vanessa is next seen in the principal's office as a ghost alongside Miyuki and Principal Dale, implying that her soul was cursed and she is now an onryo. This causes Allison to run back to her home in Chicago, unaware that the Grudge followed her, and began affecting the other residents of the apartment. Including Lacey's friend Sally who appears to be a manic-depressive now, and Jake's parents, Trish and Bill, who become strikingly similar to Takeo and Kayako, as Bill accuses her of having an affair, to which she responds by murdering him.
Vanessa and Miyuki were also part of the curse, as Jake saw them walking behind Allison, and he saw their eyes looking through the window.
- The character of Vanessa was written with actress Vanessa Lengies in mind. The part still bears her name.
- Vanessa and Takeo are the only characters to actively serve as antagonists in life and death.
- Allison accuses the events of the Grudge 2 of being her fault, which she is correct about because Vanessa brought Allison and Miyuki to the house where Aubrey attacked and cursed them.
- It could also be argued that she posthumously caused the events of The Grudge 3 because Allison wouldn't have accidentally bought the curse to Chicago if not for her.
- The Grudge 2 was actress Teresa Palmer's first American film. She reportedly felt her accent in the movie was "horrific".