JU-ON THE GRUDGE
Directed & Written by Shimizu Takashi
Produced by Taka Ichise
Cast: Okina Megumi, Ito Misaki, Uehara Misa, Ichikawa Yui & Valerie Chow
1.85:1 anamorphic/Japanese/Japan/NTSC Region 3
Review from the Cinexus DVD
"Ju-on: the curse of one who dies in the grip of powerful rage. It gathers and takes effect in the places that person was alive. Those who encounter it die, and a new curse is born."
Rika (the beautiful Megumi) is a social worker send by one of her fellow worker, Toyoma, to check out the Tokunaga residence. They haven't heard from them in sometime. When she arrives there she finds a silent old woman who looks like she's been scared to death! The creepy house is a mess so Rika decides to clean it up... moments later she hears noises coming from upstairs. As she carefully venture into the second floor, she finds in a closet a black cat... and a little boy named Toshio. She calls her superiors to inform them of the little boy and the woman but before she is about to leave, she witness one very creepy scene of a black figure who happens to be flotting above the old woman... the figure turns around and menacingly stares at Rika who then falls unconcious.
JU-ON THE GRUDGE is beautifuly told in separated vignettes that goes back and forth in time, each taking a look at the results of the curse on a specific character who all become linked together because of it. At first what seems like a gimmick is actually the most appropriate way to tell the story. It makes the associations between the characters all the more logical. JU-ON THE GRUDGE is an atmospheric and ambience film. Thanks to a darkly stunning cinematography some scenes are like evil paintings. The house becomes a characters of its own, an evil one. One of the most chilling scene involves the spectre of Kayako who happens to be under the sheets of the dropdead beautiful Hitomi.
JU-ON THE GRUDGE is the cinematic version of Shimizu's own tv film version he made a few years before. There was also a tv sequel and a sequel to this film. An american remake with Sam Raimi producing the project and Shimizu as the director is set for a worldwide release in 2004! It looks like the JU-ON curse is about to spread itself around the globe.
This edition is the Korean 2 disc set released by Cinexus. The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and it is enhanced for 16x9 television. The transfer is simply stunning, the dark scenes are all beautifuly rendered, the blues are lush and vivid. There is no complain I can make here. In the audio department we get a DTS and 5.1 Dolby Digital track. Both tracks are atmospheric, loud and clear. All of the noises are encoded to make the best uses of the directional possibilites of an home theater system. The film is presented in its Japanese language but with optional easy to read English, Korean and Japanese subtitles.
The discs comes in a very nice keep case which comes in a cardboax. The menus are animated with music and sounds. There's a very nice 4 pages booklet and a yellow paper that comes in a plastic that I have no idea what it is for. The film is separated in 43 chapters (!), in the extras on the first disc there's a plan of the house where you can choose a room to see some behind the scenes segments. We also get three trailers, one tv spot and a teaser trailer and two trailer for the sequel.
On the second disc we get a 10 minutes interview with Megumi, another one with the actress playing Hitomi and a 8 minutes interview with the school girls. There's also 5 interviews with the cast and the director. We get the full scene of the father killing his wife (Kayako), which we only see segments of it in the film, a short but still interesting still gallery, storyboard to film comparaison for 5 scenes and one featurette with a candle and someone talking in Japanese which I didn't understood because of the lack of subs in all the extras. Recommended for all of you who can't get enough of THE RING trilogy, KAIRO, DARK WATER and other "ghost back for vengeance" Japanese style.
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2003. ©
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