Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)


Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)

Director: Takashi Shimizu
Starring: Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara

Misfortune befalls anyone who gets involved with a house inhabited by vengeful spirits.

I saw the American remake back when it came out, dragged along by my friend who was both a horror buff and a Sarah Michelle Gellar fan (a Buffy buff, you might say). Both this movie and Ringu helped spark a bit of a spike in interest in Japanese horror, spawning American remakes and sequels. I knew the original Ju-On had a good reputation, but I didn't make a point to seek it out. However, thanks to a convenient airing, I was able to see for myself. With the rich tradition of the kaidan behind it, Japanese horror rather effective and for someone not acclimated to it, there's a little extra punch to it. Though rather low budget (actually the first feature-length entry in the series following two direct-to-video predecessors), it does well with what it has, being sufficiently atmospheric and creepy. The vignette approach to the story doesn't allow for very deep characterization, but you do get a solid feel for the chain of tragedy strung from the eponymous grudge. For fans of horror in general and Japanese horror in particular, it's worth a watch.

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