Ju-on: The Grudge

on July 23, 2004 by Christine James
Horror fans will hold a grudge against writer/director Takashi Shimizu for conjuring some of the most frightening wraiths in cinematic history, only to dull their terror with repetition and a convoluted plot. For quite some time we're petrified by "Ju-On's" truly terrifying apparitions, but soon you just want to confront one, slap it around and force it to tell us what in Hades is going on.

Opening text explains that "Ju-On" is "a curse born of a grudge held by someone who dies in the grip of powerful anger. It gathers in the places frequented by that person in life, working its spell on those who come into contact with it and thus creating itself anew." That's fine, but the details of the original grudge are sketchy at best, and none of the victims of the hex seem to follow the mythology. The gist seems to be that someone did something to someone, and now that someone is a something that is doing something to various someones who are connected by...something. Hopefully Columbia's upcoming English-language version starring Sarah Michelle Gellar will be a little more coherent. But given that Shimizu is back at the helm, even after failing to make a number of sequels and prequels any less baffling, this might be one that's better on paper. That paper not being the script. Starring Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa and Yuya Ozeki. Directed and written by Takashi Shimizu. Produced by Taka Ichise. A Vitagraph release. Horror/Thriller. Unrated. Running time: 93 min

Tags: Megumi Okina, Misaki Ito, Misa Uehara, Yui Ichikawa, Yuya Ozeki. Directed and written by Takashi Shimizu. Produced by Taka Ichise, Vitagraph, Horror, Thriller

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