Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Movie Review: "Ju-On: The Grudge" (2002)

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Movie"Ju-On: The Grudge"
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Year: 2002
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

A deadly curse is passed from person to person stemming from a single violent act in a house, making whoever enters it a mark for certain doom. 

"Ju-On: The Grudge" is a Japanese horror movie about a curse that gets started when someone is killed in a fit of rage. The story in this film is told through a series of non-sequential vignettes. Each of these little shorts are connected by characters or locations that intertwine between the stories. Each segment begins with the character's name, the first part being about a social worker named Rika, played by Megumi Okina, who is instructed by her work to go to a home to take care of an elderly woman. While cleaning, she sees a cat, which leads her to a boy locked in a closet, which is actually the ghost of the boy who was killed there. Shortly after this, Rika encounters another spirit, this time a female who inflicts the Ju-On upon her. The rest of the segments continue on in a similar manner as we mentioned above, out of chronological order, though often they overlap between characters and places visited.

This isn't a film with strong dialogue by any means. When push comes to shove, the plot isn't even that great or strong, either. Almost all of the mood and intrigue from "Ju-On" comes from imagery set up through these interconnected stories. It is all about the creepy visuals of little ghost children, loud noises, and ghastly faces with sullen eyes. Each of the ghosts has a pale white or grayish appearance, a style of ghost that has continued to be used by other filmmakers since this film came out. In fact, the Japanese version of "The Grudge" even inspired a straight remake from America, as well as countless other films that use similar plot points and imagery, too. The filmmakers here do succeed in creating some eerie ghost story moments with some decent jump scares, but overall, we were left wanting a little more from this movie, especially since the hype surrounding it was and has since been very high. To us, it doesn't live up to the hype and isn't as effective as other recent notable horrors like "The Babadook" and "It Follows."

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
Two years ago, we were watching: "Twixt"

One year ago, we were watching: "The Cabin in the Woods"

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