Monday, August 26, 2013

Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)

Unbeknownst to me, "Ju-On: The Grudge" the the third in a series, and it is always a tricky thing to watch a sequel out of order. Fortunately, the film works well as an individual, and I understand that each film is different thematically.

   Although not particularly smart or logic-heavy horror, 2004's "Ju-On: The Grudge" contains a couple of good scares and ends up being a fairly decent way to spend 90 minutes. The curse of modern horror (and our jaded era) is that some of the scenes are more funny then scary, but if you get a laugh and a shock for your movie ticket, that's not so bad, now is it?

   The film is split into six segments that are linked thematically, starting with that of Rika (Megumi Okina,) a humble, compassionate social worker. In a film that offers very little character development wise, Rika is the most believable character.

   Sent to a squalid (and as it turns out, haunted- double the fun!) house to care for an old lady who's long since lost her mind, Rika soon finds there's something- not right with the house. It is in fact, haunted by the ghosts of a dead family- and their cat.

    The main instigator of the supernatural mayhem seems to be Toshio (Yuya Ozeki), an adorably murderous little tyke who likes to climb under the blankets of the living and pop out when they least expect it. And I thought Japanese youngsters were supposed to be disciplined!

   Also, I thought Toshio's voice was absolutely hilarious. "What's your name?" "To-shee-o." Classic. But really, this film has some scary moments, especially near the beginning. Around the end, you kind of know the schtick.

   I'm not going to tell you what the other segments are about, because that's what you watch it for, right? Things I liked were- the sound effects (that guttural sound the ghosts make is freak-y!,)and the jump scares (so much better than most jump scares, and I am an expert on jump-scaring- ask my sister!)

   The things I didn't  like- the lack of character development. It was hard to get attached to the characters. The poor acting of Misa Uehara, who played the retired police officer's daughter as a teenager. The lack of explanation in the script.

Why does playing peek-a-boo with the ghost make the ghost go away? And why does that same method work for one ghost but not for another? Overall, this is a decent movie, but only for rental, unless you're a huge J-Horror fan.

1 comment:

  1. I liked Ju-On, but I found the Hollywood remake even scarier.


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