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
Some characters in the film receive a phone call from an unknown number, which is 4444444444. The number 4 is also a homophone for the Japanese character of death (Shi). This number is often considered a sign of bad luck in Japanese culture. See more »
First off this is the movie that kicked it all off. It was followed by Ju-On 2 , Ju-On The Grudge, Ju-On The Grudge 2, and now the Sarah Michelle Gellar version The Grudge all directed by Shimizu. These movies have since become sort of a mystery due to the fact that very little people actually know there are so many of these movies and that there is an actual order in which they proceed. So I personally decided to buck that trend and watch them from the start. So....
Anyways this movie eerily begins off with a teacher played by Yûrei Yanagi who must visit the ominous home of one of his students Toshio whom has not recently been to school and who's parents have not been able to be reached. When he arrives at the house he discovers the boy is alone at home and his parents are out and about.
This is when the movie flashes back into an almost short story mode where it tells the tale of others who have lived and been in the house and what has become of them. One of the characters being played by Chiaki Kuriyama who has gone on to bigger and better things with Battle Royale and Kill Bill. This movie is confusing and made even more confusing by not being used to watching a movie with all Asian people and subtitles. But from what I've understood these people have all been cursed with The Grudge as is described in the beginning of the movie as
"A curse of one who dies with strong resentment
Accumulates in the place where the dead were while alive, and turns into "Karma"
He who comes in contact with the curse loses his life, and a new curse is born."
After these sequences are finished Shimizu once again returns to the main story of the teacher and his student Toshio. Where we quickly learn what has really become of Toshio's parents. EEK!
These short story like sequences are very frightening and creepy, and it wasn't the limited amount of gore that got me. It was the great direction and incredible use of sound to freak the s**t out of me. I've never really seen any American horror movies made like this one, and it's almost hard to explain even to myself how a movie with such an erratic and confusing timeline could still be so satisfying. Although maybe I'm just ignoring the fact that many of these confusements(is that a word, if it isn't it should be) will be explained in the sequels, which I now must absolutely see.
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