Ju-On: The Curse (2000)

   
Written & Directed by: Takashi Shimizu

Starring:

Yureki Yanagi .... Shunsuke Kobayashi
Ryôta Koyama .... Toshio Saeki
Hitomi Miwa .... Yuki
Asumi Miwa .... Kanna Murakami
.... Tsuyoshi Murakami
Chiaki Kuriyama .... Mizuho Tamura
Yoriko Dôguch .... Nakamura
.... Yoshikawa
.... Kayako Saeki
.... Tatsuya Suzuki
Taro Suwa .... Kamio
Yûko Daike .... Kyoko Suzuki

Release Dates: Direct-to-Video: February 11, 2000 (Japan); Box Higashi-Nakano: March 18, 2000 (Japan); Festival van de Fantastische Film: April 11, 2003 (Netherlands)

 

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A schoolteacher named Shunsuke Yanagi (Yureki Yanagi) pays a visit to his student named Toshio (Ry˘ta Koyama)at his home as he's been absent from school but he discovers that he is the only one at home and his home has been uncleaned.
He finds out that Toshio isn't who he thinks he is anymore as his father apparently has killed his mother and Toshio himself as they seem to haunt their home and kill the neighbors living near their house in the most gruesome ways as they hear deadly cat sounds before their deaths.
The police can't understand why so many people are disappearing as even the neighbors end up disappearing.

 

We have a moment with Shunsuke Kobayashi talking to his heavily pregnant wife before going out as this seemed to look uplifting and blend in nicely to what they were talking about.
Also a moment with him spotting the little boy Toshio having his hands hanging out of the bathroom window which looked well shot as you wonder if he's dead as well as him talking to this boy but this was shot in the daylight so it seemed to spoil the mysterious spookiness to what unravels here. Yet things look mildly interesting when he comes into the home and he's lying there looking out of it as this looked impressive for a horror flick as well as Shunuke turning his head away and then this boy showing a wide eyed jaw with a meow sound which grabs your attention as this looked well done.
Then there's moments and discussions by the neighbors Yuki and Kanna about them hearing sounds as well as discussing guys and relationships but this all looked terribly stale and bland to watch them talking about all of this and a bit of a time waster too.
Yet things start to improve as we have Yuki slowly hearing the sounds near an attic as well we spot a kitten playfully charging at her and she backs away as I had to laugh as this didn't look spooky at all and too tame but again this film didn't have high quality stuff so my guess is they had to do with what they had and no trainer for this to save money of course.
There's carefully done shots on her looking at the attic door as well as her slowly walking up the ladder to look inside. Plus a good camera shot zooming in towards her as this looked spooky along with the back of a deadly ghostly looking head as well as a nice near jumping moment when we see this object staring back at her. Things become intense as this was done in a good horror fashion due to it's no budget.
Another effective moment is when a student Mizuho Tamura is in a science classroom and is spooked after the power goes out with a nice camera shot on her near a table as well as her going underneath the table to look for something and spots a childs ghostly feet running by which was effective for the film and perfectly put into the story. Also a good moment when her cell rings on top of the table and she tries to get it but finds she's grabbing this ghostly child as well as later on a good camera shot on her looking at her phone and then the ghostly child is next to her looking up with a good ghostly face. All of this was nicely choreographed.
Another wscene is when a mother is talking on the phone after it rings and we spot a background of someone looking deformed walking up some stairs from behind her which is supposed to look creepy but due to the lack of the budget and the fact it was shot in borad daylight fails in order to be that way. Yet things look truly mysterious when the mother calls to this person and thier back is turned while walking up the stairs as you get a creepy feeling when this person turns that something creepy will unveil and this looked well done making up for the lack of the creepiness during the beginning of this scene.
Perfect moment with detectives discussing a dead corpse as we spot it covered in bloody sheets and discussing on what is happening which adds some nice chemistry to the horror plot.
More mysterious moments when Shunsuke discovers that Toshio is doing horror sketch drawings on cats which tries to uncover the horror moments. Also a perfect dark shot on Shunsuke turning on his cigarette lighter to see on what he discovers in an attic as this looked effective for a dark horror flick as well as him running to the child telling him they can't be there as this adds a nice scary feeling to everything. Also a good moment with his cell rining and a creepy voice coming from the other end as well as later on a good bloodied crawling corpse approaching him as the special effects looked well done.
There's also a good conversation between Kyôko Suzuki and Tatsuya Suzuki going into the home and discussing on what happened there as well as her fears on stuff as this was nicely wirtten in along with later on revealing the terrors on a ghostly figure.
Bottom line is that it is a confusing Japanese flick which almost seemed entertaining but it was just frusterating to understand. There are nice haunting scenes but when the movie tries so hard to be scary it's more downright funny as it was that campy although it was meant to be a serious horror film. Later on The Grudge saw the light of day.

The acting is hard to understand as it's in Japanese but the cast seems to perform fairly decently. The actor that represents himself very clearly and well is the leading guy Yureki Yanagi (Shunsuke Kobayashi) as he had the sharp looks and comes across as a wise one along with showing a good calmness and speaking his lines quite well while talking to someone else along with showing some nice energy into everything that he did in this flick.
Child actor Ry˘ta Koyama (Toshio Saeki) also performs pretty good too making his part extremely mysterious. Has a nice disturbed and emotionless presence to the camera as he knew on how to act shocked or possessed. Plus shows great wide eyed and jaw features looking ghostly which was impressive as well.
Hitomi Miwa (Yuki) seemed to not perform too shabby when she acts concerned on what she hears as she shows good worrysome expressions on her face and shows off a good presence when she is alerted on things. Has a nice healthy girl next door types of looks as well as doing an impressive job freaking out at the end of her performance.
Asumi Miwa (Kanna Murakami) seemed to show off a bubbly personality and adds spunk into her part of her character which shows off in a not too bad shape. Offers some uplifting energy by all that she does in the film. She wasn't a favourite of mine but at the same time shows off memorably into what she did here and was worth mentioning.
Chiaki Kuriyama (Mizuho Tamura) shines on quite well into her part of the film as she had the nice highschool girl looks and appeal to her role as well as coming across as perfectly timid and spooked by what is happening surrounding her. Plus shows okay lung power with her screaming too.
Yûko Daike (Kyoko Suzuki) was one of the best performers in this flick as she seemed very sharp with her words and actions and knowing on how to get into her role clearly well by what she was discussing along with showing some decent mild actions reactions by what is going on too. Shows off her fearful attitude quite well too. She was a total ball of energy and deserves a good pat on the back with her work in this one.

A boy's jaw is missing and he's bloodied
A ghostly corpse of a woman is bloodied

Gary Ashiya and Shiro Sato delivers some synthesizer/violin sounds suiting the elements of the scenes in the film but alot of the times the movie is silent with no sound effects. There's perfectly effective rumbling sounds and screeching noises which suits the scene's that it was needed for plus odd booming sounds too. We also hear the odd string pluckings too as this sounds strongly done as well. We also have some wicked dark keyboard playing which was especially used for the closing credits.