Ju-On: The Grudge (2002)

Halloween Reviews 2020 

Director: Takashi Shimizu

Writer: Takashi Shimizu

Stars: Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa, Kanji Tsuda, Kayoko Shibata, Yukako Kukuri, Shuri Matsuda

When a person dies a violent death amidst powerful rage, a curse is born. 

This curse has the potential of attaching itself to anybody that comes within its orbit and renews itself with each victim. 

Taken to its logical extreme, it seems that such a curse could propagate itself endlessly until none are left untouched. 

Director Takashi Shimizu suggests that perhaps that is exactly what is happening with his many shots of deserted streets and the general atmosphere of desolation. 

Takashi Shimizu

This is not a linear horror film where a hero or heroine stumbles upon something horrible and struggles to put it right, most likely succeeding in the end (or perhaps failing just enough to leave the door open for a sequel). 


"Ju-On" consists of a number of vignettes, scattered in time, that quite simply shows the curse and its major ghost claiming one victim after another. 

The victims generally don't know what is happening to them, and the film puts a lot of responsibility on viewers to piece it together for themselves. 

Some will find this a hopeless, confusing muddle. 

However, if you are like me, you will appreciate the creepy atmosphere and enjoy contemplating the nature of the murderous ghost.


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