In this seventh installment of the Ju-on franchise, a school teacher visits the home of a boy who's been absent from school for a long period of time, unaware of the horrific tragedy which occurred in the boy's household many years ago.
Jealous of his wives love for another man, a teacher from her high school, a man brutally kills his wife and young son. Searching for the son who has missed a lot of school, the teacher enters their house, only to find the dead ghost of his mother, and consequently has a heart attack and becomes a ghost himself. The story goes on to tell of the new tenants of the house and what they experience, and an investigation by two police officers into why so many people are disappearing. Written by
The first of the series is still the most effective
Although the first two movies of the Ju-on series were super low-budget direct-to-video affairs, I find this first one holds its own next to -- and is in many ways still creepier than -- the 2002 theatrical box office smash.
This movie establishes the curse that stems from the murder of a young woman, Kayako, and her son, Toshio, by Kayako's jealous husband. The movie jumps around in time, playing scenes out of sequence in a way that is more interesting dramatically than if it had all been drawn out chronologically.
Takashi Shimizu relies upon generating an eerie mood, a nonstop aura of unease that permeates each scene, to creep audiences out, rather than by throwing gore and special effects at you in the way American horror films usually do. (In fact, the one CGI effects shot in this movie is its cheesiest; they just haven't got the budget to pull it off.) By the time we finally see Kayako crawling down the stairs, we've been put so ill at ease by one inexplicable, disturbing event after another that the first sight of her is bloodcurdling.
In all, Ju-on is a swell example of how to generate chills with next to no money but boundless imagination and talent.
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