AKA: Ju-On: The Grudge
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Hiroshi Takahashi
Producer: Taka Ichise
Cast: Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa, Tomomi Kobayashi, Takashi Matsuyama
Running Time: 92 min.
By Mighty Peking Man
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night and the first thing you see standing over your bed is Linda Blair’s character from The Exorcist staring right at you and coming closer and closer – that’s how creepy this damn film is. In fact, I don’t remember the last time a film spooked the living sh*t out of me the way this one did.
Conducted in a series of connected segments, with mixed and related characters, Ju On is the story of a haunted house that makes The Amityville Horror residence look like The Brady Bunch’s dream home. The curses that reside within were summoned after a horrible crime was committed (involving a man who brutally murdered his own family, then shortly thereafter, killed himself….). Now, the victims’ wicked ghosts are back and they’re out to possess and kill anyone who comes across their path. At the jump-out-of-your-seat level this film achieves, dismiss all points of reason.
For the people that do care about the reason, tough luck, you won’t get one. At the end of the Ju-On, nothing is really met as far as a satisfying conclusion or closure. People die, ghosts do their ghostly things and the audience gets freaked out. If you want more than this, you’ll be disappointed.
Ju-On (aka Ju-On: The Grudge) is passionately directed by Shimizu Takashi, and written by Hiroshi Takahashi (screen writer of The Ring 2). Don’t recognize any of the cast members, but all their performances are passable.
Overall, Ju On is creepier than The Ring, but unlike the latter, it lacks the presence of a plot. By the way, if you want the full effect, watch it loud.
Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 8/10