Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa, Kanji Tsuda
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
An eerie tale of a family who is brutally killed in their own home leaving behind an evil spirit lurking in the shadows. When an unknowing homecare worker enters the spirit is awakened and a terrifying chain of events begi... more »
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Reviewed on 1/3/2011...
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Walter B. (AquariumWB) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 8/13/2010...
The scariest movie I have ever seen --- PERIOD! This is a masterpiece.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
So THAT's Why They Call it a CrawlSpace!!
TastyBabySyndrome | "Daddy Dagon's Daycare" - Proud Sponsor of the Lit | 11/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When someone dies in the grip of a horrible rage, a curse is born. And that curse consumes the place it touches like a cancer, writhing through the world adjoining its own and killing everything it touches.
And, o, how it kills.
While you may be curious as to how this movie is, I'd make the following suggestion to those of you that might want to watch it.
Before you start reading anyone's thoughts on this movie, you should first ask yourself if you want to see something that's (A) presented intact or if you (B) want to see a beast with some of its proverbial teeth pulled. If you choose "A" (and most people choose "A," if you're curious about mean and the like), you should consider the fact that this movie could be ruined if you keep reading people's reviews. Ju-on isn't one of those boorish films that rely heavily on a point that it has to drive into your viewing mind like a hammer hitting some "look, mommy, I'm a monster" nail. Instead, it works by telling a story in fragments, letting you have snippets of the tale along with a dose of the horrific and rewarding you as you follow along. It reminds me of a mystery that you know portions of right away because of conjecture/ horror movie conditioning, but one that you have to keep following because of the fun that ensues as little elements (the all-too-human kind) keep touching some base terror and then suffering as they help spread it. And its one of those pieces that you REALLY want to kick people for talking about with any depth, because any portion of the plot being revealed could fracture the effect it has when it's revealed on the screen. The little tastes of depravity, the nuisances that make your spine sink and say "O my god" when the lovely effects play out - yeah. You should definitely go out and take it for a ride without listening to the prattle of the masses.
If labels scare you and you need more convincing, then let me say this. As far as comparisons go, this movie has gotten a lot of press that it didn't deserve. It's been called arthouse, implying that it was cheap and that it was abstract, and it's been called "like Ringu," implying that it's a rip-off. But, watching the film (and countless others in the horror genre), I'll have to say that neither of these generalizations apply. Sure, the movie does have places where the monetary constraints show and, sure, it does have a few places where it does cross boundaries with other movies. Still, most horror movies are like that. At its very essence this is a (1) foreign film and falls into certain patterns predicted by what its target audience enjoy, and (2) it is a haunting film and gives you some haunting love. But it has a lot of other things, too, packing some bite for the buck. When it comes down to horror, its one of those evils that simply doesn't let something step on its toes and walk away. O no, it's a whole lot sexier than that.
And, for people that don't know, this is the film that The Grudge was adapted from. Does that mean that you should just go out and see the adaptation and shelf this film? Hell no. Seeing both The Grudge and Ju-on, I'll have to say that I personally preferred the taste of Ju-on. While it didn't have the budget of its counterpart, it did have (1) the unrestricted rating that allowed for some interesting imagery with a box cutter and with the terror itself, (2) an atmosphere that made me cringe in some parts instead of merely jumping at loud noises that perhaps frighten the newly-inducted horror connoisseur but that don't have the edge of a good scare, and (3) the ability to make me want to know the history of the house I'm living in. It had a LOT more truly elemental horror, and is a lot more fun to follow.
Cover your eyes; Ju-On set to terrorize American shores
Matthew King | Toronto, Canada | 09/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally after a long wait, North America sees the release of "Ju-On: The Grudge" on DVD, no doubt meant to coincide with the American remake called "The Grudge" starring Sarah Michelle Gellar which will be released in theatres this fall. Ju-On belongs to the cream of the crop of J-Horror, perhaps the best spooky house horror movie I have ever laid eyes on. Brilliantly directed by Takashi Shimizu, Ju-On is an unrelenting spectacle of spooky sights and sounds that manages to outcreep even the likes of "Ringu" and the Pang Brothers' "The Eye" without even a drop of blood spilt. Interestingly enough, the American Studio responsible for the remake has decided to enlist the services of Shimizu himself to direct the remake and to set the action in Japan alas with a mostly American cast. The remake will have a very tough act to follow if it whishes to outspook the original, however this has been achieved before with "The Ring".
The prologue shows us what led to the house becoming haunted; a man who believes his wife had an affair kills her in an uncontrolled rage then kills himself. The couple's young son, who witnesses the savage act, disappears and is never to be seen again. Fast forward several years: the house is now inhabited by the Tokunaga family of three, a husband and wife and the husband's old frail mother. While husband and wife are away on a trip, the nearby welfare center sends volunteer social worker Rika to look after the house and the old mother. While cleaning the house, she witnesses ghostly apparitions that drive her away from the house. Soon after, when the tenants of the house return from their trip they too are terrorized by the vengeful spirits of the dead family.
Several factors are responsible for making "Ju-On" such an utterly scary film. Director Shimizu for one is a master at building intensity in a scene through the use of rising ominous music and creepy visuals. But the way he does it is very unique. In the vast majority of haunted house movies, it usually involves one character seeing a supernatural entity and then said supernatural entity disappearing before anyone else can see it therefore making the witness appear crazy. Not here. The ghosts here can be seen by ALL no matter what, making them seem all the more dangerous and frightening. Also, the viewer is always kept on edge since the ghost of the little boy keeps appearing in all sorts of unexpected places like in windows, mirrors and myriad reflections and corners of the screen. And then there is the house, this is just a regular-looking house in a suburb, giving the film an element of realism seldom seen in these types of movies. I find that setting the events in your average suburban house is a much more effective scare tactic since after all how many of us have ever lived or visited a giant gothic mansion? This hits much close to home.
Ju-on weaves a complex storyline with numerous continuity jumps and gaps that give it a certain Lynchian feel. Those continuity jumps are very confusing for the first-time viewer (Huh, does Rika die twice?) but it's also one of the things that makes the film stand so well to repeat viewings because it does make sense the second time around. Which is not to say the film is without its problems. Although I found very few flaws with the execution of the film, certain things simply don't make much sense such as the spirits following people in places outside of the house and also if the house is history to so many people dying of fright because of ghosts how come new tenants keep moving in? It must have a very convincing real estate agent looking after it! Still, minor misgivings for a tremendous horror film. As for the remake I'll welcome it with open arms; many on the internet have addressed resistance about the casting of Gellar as the central character. I for one believe she'll be fabulous. This is a role where looking scared is of paramount importance and Gellar has shown us time and time again in Buffy how convincingly she can put a frightened face on. And besides with original director Shimizu at the helm, what could possibly go wrong?
I hate this film...
J. Knapp | Earth | 11/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...because it has frightened me so badly that I have'nt slept in two weeks. I have been looking for a movie that could *really* scare me for years. For a long time, The Excorcist held the top slot. Then along came Blair Witch, which I thought did a very good job at inciting that deep-down fear. But now I have gone and seen Ju-On, and it has wrecked me! Be careful what you wish for! Why though? What exactly is it about this film that is so intensly, deeply frightening? I don't know if I can put it into words. Most horror movies use the "jolt" tactic for a quick scare, and this one is no exception, yet these are more than jolts. These are sounds and images that burrow deeply into the mind and stay there, only to come to surface at the most undesirable times (such as the middle of the night). I have found that the most ordinary household bumps and creeks can now paralyze me, and catching my own reflection out of the corner of my eye as i pass by a window or mirror can suddenly chill me to the marrow and cause the hair on my arms to stand straight up. I find that my dreams have been haunted as well. Mostly consisting of ordinary-looking staircases that draw my attention and curiosity, only to find them to be occupied by a croaking, grotesquly twitching pale woman slowly scaling down them like a crab or a bug, toward me...and as much as I need to, I just cannot look away. I am 30 years old, and I do not scare easily. So, if you are one of the many jaded horror buffs who think a movie (a ghost story no less) can't be reeeeaaaalllly scary, see this. However, a fair warning: there can be unpleasant side-effects to veiwing this one. Ju-On can literally haunt you if you let it inside your mind. I loved it, but there is no way in hell I'll see it again. I feel like I need to watch the Excorcist again for some light entertainment!"