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Ju-on: The Grudge Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

August 15, 2014
Despite its fragmented, diffuse structure and obvious lack of a narrative center, this competent Japanese horror movie manages to create an oppressive atmosphere with an intriguing mystery that can be pretty disturbing sometimes, even if some of it also falls flat.
Edward B

Super Reviewer

May 18, 2014
Arguably one of the scariest J-Horror movies ever made. While it's light on story, it works almost completely on a visceral level. The images are just downright creepy.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

November 28, 2011
This was so boring. Inventive and innovative on the style of scares it delivers, but I DIDN'T get scared.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

October 21, 2006
The vengeful spirits of murder victims terrorize anyone who dares to enter the house that was the scene of their deaths. Ju On was one of the first J Horrors that broke the international mainstream (along with Ringu) and although it feels a lot less fresh and unique now than it did at the time thanks to the formula being milked dry by a generation of copycats, it still stands up as one of the best. It does have its flaws; there's little in the way of plot, the cast are adequate but not remarkable and the cinematography is a little too bright and sterile for the subject matter. What makes the film is the director's ability to play on images that seem to plug directly into the fear centre of the brain, making it feel as if the characters are never safe no matter where they are and, in particular, the sound design. There's something about the noise that the ghost makes that's a bit like a clammy tarantula crawling up your spine and it still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it! My favourite example of the genre, and still worth seeing even though the whole J Horror movement is now running on empty.
Lafe F

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2007
Freaky Japanese ghost movie where anybody who even sets foot in the front door of the particular cursed house, will be doomed and hunted down by the ghosts of the original family who died there.

My favorite ghost is Toshio, the little pale-skinned boy who meows like a cat when he attacks. I think he sometimes can transform into his drowned pet cat too. The other ghosts are the long-haired crawling mother, Kayako, who makes a croaking sound from her broken neck; and the killer father, Takeo, who rarely appears. I didn't really understand where people disappeared to when the ghosts got them...

This movie is told in a series of chapters, arranged non-chronologically, each detailing a particular character and their run-in with the curse. The mixed timelines don't make total sense until you've seen them all and pieced them together.

Totally cool original type of horror movie series. (This was actually the third in the series; the first two were direct-to-video) There have been a few sequels and American remakes (as "The Grudge") since. Great spooky scenes with plenty of jump-moments. A work of modern Japanese Horror Cinema. I've watched them all many times.
Joey S

Super Reviewer

May 26, 2013
It's structured way more complicated than it need to be, especially because it jumps back and forth through time between every sequence and it's frequently unclear when events take place, and it only has a few moments that are genuinely scary, but Ju-on is still a decent Japanese scary movie with a creepy vibe to it, even if it does seem a little weak when compared to masterful Japanese horror movies like Ringu and Audition.
Ryan M
Ryan M

Super Reviewer

June 18, 2011
7.3/10

For a guy who hasn't actually seen another film in the "Ju-On" curse film saga, "Ju-On: The Grudge" actually struck me as fairly impressive. It was directed by Takashi Shimizu, who remade it from a direct-to-video film titled "Ju-On: The Curse". What I'm assuming is that this "Ju-On" is nothing more than a higher budget remake that probably didn't need to happen , but none the less delivers the goods. I do believe that many horror fans will be pleased with how much atmosphere and imagery "Ju-On" offers up. I wouldn't call it scary, but I would call it creepy, and that's a pretty respectable alternative.

"Ju-On" is imaginative stuff from start to finish. It makes great use of make-up and special effects, creating imagery that is creepy enough to stick with us, or at least, most of us. The film is more of an anthology film that's supposed to reach some awesome conclusion, although the way it all ends is somewhat unsatisfactory given the thing as whole. But even then, nothing can hurt "Ju-On". It's straight forward enough to be fun, atmospheric enough to be non-insulting, and entertaining enough for me to recommend.

As of now, I don't see there being much of a point in me describing each damn anthology segment in extreme detail. They're pretty much all the same: one person, or multiple people, go into cursed house where creepy guy murdered his poor family...and a cat, and eventually get scared to death by the curse itself. There's an occasional twist such as: investigators go into cursed house where creepy guy murdered his poor family...and a cat, and eventually get scared to death by the curse itself, but the story isn't what matters the most here, and luckily for us, the filmmakers make that obvious.

So, screw the story; screw the characters. They're not exactly non-existent, but "Ju-On" doesn't attempt to develop them, which probably would have made it a bad movie if it did. Some people just don't know how to write good characters, and in spite of their creativity and imaginations, the people who made "Ju-On" are probably included in that vast group.

What you get is not a story, but an experience. "Ju-On" is a fun ride while it lasts. Whenever a creepy image of paranormal delight is thrown in our faces, another one is just around the bend. "Ju-On" is pretty much consistent in its creepiness, except for when the scares attempt to repeat themselves more than once. This is one of the few major flaws of the film; repetition. But...what the hell; this film is good. I liked it. I enjoyed it as much as one possibly can, and while there's not a whole lot to say, I'd still say it's worth the time that it requires you to invest.

For characters who are often ridiculously underwritten, the acting is still quite good for each one of them. The film is serious when it comes to being creepy, so none of the actors swim in the territories of "self-parody" or "camp". This isn't a very terrifying film, and it doesn't build suspense like some cinematic classics for this genre would, but it is well-acted, well-filmed, and I was very pleased when I finished it.

I liked "Ju-On" for its images, I liked it for its atmosphere, I liked it for its direction, and I liked it for its self-aware absurdity. This film is pretty good for a night of creaky-house moments. It's not a masterpiece, and it should never be considered a "horror classic", but on its own right, it deserves to be praised. Some will not like it, and some will. It all depends what you bring in to it expectation-wise, because depending on how much you give a damn, you might just bring something out; something good, something great, something inspiring. I cannot imagine that "Ju-On" is a premise that will work more than, oh, I'd say about three times; and I don't think that even these filmmakers will stop at that. But sometimes it's enough to stop rejecting and embrace the times.
ascordeiro108
ascordeiro108

Super Reviewer

December 2, 2010
In my opinion, the American version is better than this one :S
The Japanese version focus more on the story, which is good, but the build up to the scary parts wasn't as good as the American one.
March 31, 2008
Japanese horror ALWAYS freaks me out. This is no different. But the freak out, while relatively effective, gets a bit redundant here. What you see in the first ten minutes is what you'll see in the last ten minutes. Regardless, I'll still be a bit hesitant to turn out my lights tonight.
March 8, 2013
For years I had heard that this original version was much better than the American version, so I was excited to finally watch it... and I was horribly disappointed. Not only is the American version much more effectively scary, it's also just an all-around better-made film. This one is disjointed and really plays more like a series of shorts than like a film, and I really didn't care about any of the characters. Usually I love Asian horror movies, but this one fell far short of my expectations.
November 11, 2011
Overall, good freaky bits but a bit difficult to follow at times. I plan on watching again to see if that clears things up a bit.
siampals
September 27, 2010
Best Japanese Horror series. The Grudge sucks compared to the original, as it's based off the Ju-On series.
August 19, 2014
So this is the first of the Japanese horror movies that I've seen, having heard of them numerous times through their American remakes. What took me by surprise was how un-scary and surprisingly boring it is. This movie is about a house where a gruesome murder of a mother and son took place. As a result< the house is cursed and anyone who enters the house will be killed by the spirits of the mother and son. Ju-on the Grudge has an interesting premise and a few moments of inspired creepiness, but the problem is is that it's incredibly repetitive, has no characters we can care about, and the execution leaves something to be desired. The entire movie is just a series of episodes of the same thing happening to numerous characters. There's also no consistency behind the two spirits actions, sometimes killing their victims immediately and sometimes waiting years for no apparent reason. I acknowledge that this a sequel to two other made-for-tv-movies that I have not seen, so I may have missed something. Regardless, this is a very poor introduction to me for J-horror.
The Film Grinch
August 6, 2014
So this is the first of the Japanese horror movies that I've seen, having heard of them numerous times through their American remakes. What took me by surprise was how un-scary and surprisingly boring it is. This movie is about a house where a gruesome murder of a mother and son took place. As a result< the house is cursed and anyone who enters the house will be killed by the spirits of the mother and son. Ju-on the Grudge has an interesting premise and a few moments of inspired creepiness, but the problem is is that it's incredibly repetitive, has no characters we can care about, and the execution leaves something to be desired. The entire movie is just a series of episodes of the same thing happening to numerous characters. There's also no consistency behind the two spirits actions, sometimes killing their victims immediately and sometimes waiting years for no apparent reason. I acknowledge that this a sequel to two other made-for-tv-movies that I have not seen, so I may have missed something. Regardless, this is a very poor introduction to me for J-horror.
Emily H.
August 2, 2014
The movie was well crafted with how each story was played out. However because of how the movie was laid out it got to be confusing and it felt a little sloppy on that part. It didn't totally drag me in but the acting was totally believable. The movie wasn't really as scary as it was weird. Weird is the main word that comes to mind when I think of this movie. But it was weird in a good way.
June 15, 2014
Great directing and order of events.
May 4, 2014
It delivered. Got the scare of my life.
April 1, 2014
The story is about a house with a violent past curses anyone who steps inside. This movie scared me so much that it made me want to sleep with the light at night before bed.
March 23, 2014
Boring! stupid! and some times funny! american remake is less worse and even fun.
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