Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ju-on [2000]

The first installment of the series, and in my opinion, the best. It is low-budget, the 'special FX' look it, and yet, it is frightening as hell. Scarier, in fact, than both the theatrical remake, Ju-on: The Grudge [2003], and the money-loaded American remake, The Grudge [2004].
Oh shi-
 The film starts with a teacher, Kobayashi, who goes to see a student who hasn't been attending school for a while. Upon arrival at the house he starts to sense something isn't right. For one thing, something rotting and bloody is in the trash and the boy, Toshio, is covered in scratches and bruises. He seems to be home alone and Kobayashi decides to wait with the kid, who starts making odd noises while his back is turned. Something on the upper level indicates they aren't so alone in the house after all.
Well, XP to you too

Suddenly, we skip forward an unknown amount of time. A new family lives in the house now. The daughter, Kanna (up there \(9_9)), and her tutor, Yuki, are upstairs going through lessons, no worries, right? Joking about boys, kidding her brother, Tsuyoshi, about his new g/f... But hey, what's that odd noise Yuki keeps hearing? What a shame...(she was cute). Fortunately, Kanna got called away to take care of some rabbits at school so she leaves the house safely...

Meanwhile, the g/f, Mizuho, goes to meet Tsuyoshi at school, but what's this? His bike and backpack are here but he is not? That's just low, you grudge you. She's innocent! Innocent I say! Nonetheless, Toshio takes her down in short order. (ㅎ︵ㅎ)

So Yuki, Mizuho, and I can only assume Tsuyoshi too, have been whacked. What about Kanna?! Can a person survive without a jawbone? At least long enough to get home apparently...

Then we come back to Kobayashi and Toshio, taking place before all those events just now. What happened here? Toshio, that long haired woman? What's the connection? Where are his parents? Well, answers come. Oh yes.
Kobayashi, hard-working teacher that he is, has stayed at the house until nightfall. For some reason he's chosen to stand at the windows all day instead of looking into the other rooms to find clues as to what's going on. Well he looks for clues now! And he finds 'em (or are they shown to him?). The wife, Kayako, had a real obsession with him. At this point I started to get a feeling for what transpired here. (((⊙﹏﹏⊙))) Understandably, Kobayashi is shocked and he starts towards the door before hearing the sound of flies coming from the closet. Oh shit. That closet. So that's why Kayako's ghost was up there. Huh. (⊙Д⊙) OH GOD! In a true testament to his human kindness, Kobayashi grabs the kid and tries to take him out of there posthaste. I would have said 'FUCK IT' and, as a YouTuber eloquently put it, "sprint[ed] away pissing myself for three blocks."

And his poor wife..........

What follows is the famous staircase scene. The most frightening part of this? Not Kayako coming down the stairs. It was the sound coming down the stairs of Kayako falling out of the attic! And the rustling......and sloshing.... 

When you watch this movie I want you to pay attention to how there are almost NO 'jump scares' in it. I could go through the whole thing and point out every time there could have been one accompanied by a timestamp like I did with in the American vs J/K Horror post. This movie lets you feel your own horror, it doesn't force it on you. When the characters are startled by something, the movie doesn't artificially startle you too. It's awesome.

Worth checking out, for both J-horror-philes and new comers. (O___O)-b