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Ju-On: The Grudge

by Kara 9/5/04

Ju-On will mess with your head.

I went into the theater with a safety blanket, knowing it would be freezing inside. I covered myself up and the movie began. It didn’t take very long for it to get creepy. 5-8 minutes – tops. It never let up the entire way through.
I sat there with my hands holding my blanket up to my chin, my entire body tense and covered in goose bumps. Waves of chills ran up and down my body over and over and over again.

I’m not going to say anything about the story or the movie itself. All I’ll say is, the blood had drained from my hands by the end of the movie and the rolling credits helped some of the tension that allowed me to get out of my chair with a groan. After we walked out of the theater, we stopped by the restroom. I went in. There was one other woman in there. She left and I was alone. I tried to stay practical, but Toshio won in the end. My walk quickly turned into a run to the sink area. I didn’t look under the counters or in the mirrors. I washed my hands and briskly walked out. At home even my cat, Marmalade, felt my anxiety and fear. She lay beside me on the bed, her head jerking in all different directions, like she expected to see someone walk around a corner and into the room. Even though it was 2:30am at this point, I didn’t think I could sleep. As I finally drifted off, I thought…Cats. Toshio. Bed.


by Shrub 9/5/04

The official website reads “from the creators of Ringu.” A Sam Raimi quote goes like this: “The most frightening film I’ve ever seen, leaving you no time to catch your breath.” OK, I’m sold.

If you, like me, are a huge fan of Ringu, Ju-On: The Grudge has plenty to offer. It’s heavy on atmosphere, imagery, and chills, has creeping evil ghosts (both of the long haired and small child variety), and a menacing soundtrack. Unlike Ringu though, it’s pretty fast paced but does still manage to be suspenseful. I have a feeling some of these traits will begin to influence American film makers and that is a good thing.

This was a very cool flick with some spots that literally gave me goose bumps. That being said, I am really looking forward to the remake as I did see room for improvement in clarity of the story and character development. I was a little uncertain on the story behind the curse, but to be fair, I haven’t seen any of the other Ju-On movies and presumably that would have helped. Ordinarily I am squeamish about remakes (especially when they are “Americanized” remakes), but The Grudge is being made by Takashi Shimizu, the writer and director of all four Ju-On movies to date so I would expect that he will treat this next installment in his franchise with respect.


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