As their curse spreads on, the ghosts find their chance to live once again through the pregnancy of a cursed woman.As their curse spreads on, the ghosts find their chance to live once again through the pregnancy of a cursed woman.As their curse spreads on, the ghosts find their chance to live once again through the pregnancy of a cursed woman.
Ju-on 2 is obviously a sequel to Ju-on (The Grudge), a fairly reasonable if perhaps not brilliant chiller from the Orient, in which a murder had caused the house it occurred in to host a curse as a result of the slaying.
Following on from this, Ju-on 2 uses the same trick as seen in the likes of Magnolia whereby a bunch of victims, related to one another in some way, suffer at the hands of said curse.
Indeed, this is much like a compendium of tales, focusing on around 6 victims whose lives becomes inextricably linked as a result of circumstance, all of which harks back to the original house.
However, rather than outlining the finer details of the plot, it seems fairer to explain *why* this is such a good effort from Asia compared to so many of its really rather derivative kin such as Phone, Eye etc.
Certainly this also has more than a homage to Ring, and could be tenuous accused of slight plagiarism given many of the utterly blatant similarities, so what makes it a cut above the others?
Well, one of the main strengths here is some fantastic psychological trickery. The direction itself is fantastically conducive to it, and without giving away the exact nature of the manipulation of the viewer going on here, it's fair to say that it does a pretty good job of conveying the same kind of 'wrongness' that Ring exuded. There are plenty of moments here which create a genuine chill such is their effective defying of how we believe the laws of physics and biology work. When an event goes against all the worldly beliefs you have set in stone, it makes you take notice. Furthermore, given the distinctly psychological nature of much of Ju-on 2, it truly comes across as utterly twisted like some kind of awful nightmarish trip (Unlike Audition's frankly baffling last 3rd) but one which doesn't leave the viewer confused.
There are also a number of subtle tricks in evidence, many of which don't become apparent till later, all of which genuinely gathered an impressed reaction from me.
I am not going to pretend this is a terrifying movie, because to me, while there were certainly moments which got the adrenaline going a little, it is not exactly all that scary if you're a fan of these movies. Basically, we've seen it all before.
Nonetheless, as critical and harsh as that sounds, it still manages to entertain extremely well despite it, because it uses its own unique brand of originality to compliment the obvious nods to other movies.
Certainly one of the best Eastern horrors I've seen.
- Mar 31, 2005