The Grudge / Ju-On   April 21st, 2010

Originall Written 10/26/04

Went and saw The Grudge tonight.  I also found that Ju-On, the original Japanese horror movie it’s a remake of, is available here on DVD, so it’s added to my NetFlix queue so I can check out the original. Anyway, we were curious about the film, so we ignored the lackluster reviews and checked it out. It wasn’t as good as either version of The Ring or Dark Water, but it was fairly decent. The story was a little more simplistic than those other films, but still interesting. It wasn’t scary, but it managed to generate some good suspense in many places.

The visuals did get kind of over-the-top at times though, which made things a bit unintentionally silly. There were two women sitting off to the side a row ahead of me, who kept on laughing and hurt the mood as well. It’s kind of interesting how the visuals and narrative elements from all these Japanese horror films are very similar, which is sort of becoming a little cliche. It was odd seeing the story still set in Japan, but with all the main characters Americans. They did manage to touch on the feeling of being outsiders in a strange land, which wasn’t part of the original story, but was a nice touch. Roger Ebert complained that the story jumped around too much, but I liked the non-linear story-telling. I thought it added a nice quality to the story and I didn’t find it hard to follow at all. So while the film wasn’t perfect, I pretty much liked it and it was a fun diversion. I am curious to check out the original movie though.

Update 04/20/10

I didn’t like the original Ju-On. It started out okay but just kept going on and on. The director was trying to show the scope of the people the curse had struck, but following it back victim after victim just got tedious. Your mileage may vary of course, but for me I prefer the American remakes to a few of the Japanese horror films.

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