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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ju-On (2000) - Takashi Shimizu

Watching Japanese horror is similar to watching British comedy. If you enjoy dry whit then you probably enjoy the boys of Monty Python in drag. That's the joke, they're dressed like women. Get it? Well, that's British humor. But if you're like most Americans you probably prefer Adam Sandler farting his way across a football field and hooking up with chicks that are way out of his league. Americans usually prefer this more in your face, crass brand of humor. My point is funny in England is different from funny in the US. The same goes for J-Horror. What the Japanese consider scary is very different from what Americans consider scary and it shows in this horror film. Japanese horror is generally slow (a little too slow sometimes), suspenseful and creepy.

Ju-On is a creepy effing film. The movie has almost no soundtrack. It is incredibly suspenseful and the pay-offs are pretty awesome, but I think that it was done better in the American version (cultural taste). A quick overview: The story is told in chapters and each chapter is about a different character. The main story is about a teacher who goes to a student's house and notices something is amiss. Something about a curse... and a telephone number 4444444444?

If you are looking for blood and guts look elsewhere. This movie has great visual scares, amazing suspense, a pretty nifty storyline, but is lacking in the raw gore department. The long drawn out reverse burp sound utilized through out the film is really scary though.

I really like watching my favorite scary parts from the US remake and comparing them along side the original.

I give Ju-On 6 out of 10. It was creepy and put together well, however it was hindered by bad CGI and the almost too slow build-ups. I enjoyed the US version better than the original due to its use of elements of what made this movie good and adding an American flavor without over stepping itself. I would recommend to see them both in order to compare and contrast.

Who you gonna call... right!

  • The creepy sound was developed by the director himself
  • The film spawned a sequel Ju-On 2. Then two remakes Ju-On: The Grudge and Ju-On: The Grudge 2. Then an additional movie Ju-On 3. The movie also has 2 US versions: The Grudge and The Grudge 2. All directed by Shimizu.
  • Straight to video
  • The girl who played Gogo in Kill Bill Vol. 1 also stars in this film

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