Wednesday, July 12, 2006

JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 - satisfyingly creepy

First, a point of clarification. JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 is part of the teen horror franchise of GRUDGE movies created by the Japanese writer-director, Takashi Shimizu. The problem is that they all seem to have inter-changeable titles and plots. Basically, this version is NOT one of the US remakes starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. Rather it is one of the home-grown Japanese films, complete with sub-titles. What we get is ninety minutes of nicely done Japanese horror. Through a series of looping narratives, we follow a variety of characters as they are haunted by vengeful manifestations of a young boy and his mother. These two were violently murdered by the husband in a house that it will turn out is the setting for a TV show that the characters in the movie are filming. (Oh, how post-modern!) The movie is not so much jump-out-of-your-seat scary as unsettling and spooky. There are no slashers and very little blood and gore. However, the sense of unease is gradually ratcheted up to unbearable tension with the effective use of the old favourites – deserted corridors, scary noises from the other side of the wall, reflections of faces in windows. It’s nicely low-CGI and presumably low-budget. The only part that didn’t quite make sense to me was the ending, which seemed to exist merely to set up the next movie in the franchise. But that’s small beans. This is the most successful (i.e. freaks me out) horror flick I have seen since CALVAIRE.

JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 was released in the Far East in 2003 and on DVD is some European markets since. It is currently on release in the UK.

No comments:

Post a Comment