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The Asian ApertureJu-on: The Grudge
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, August 5, 2012    Share

Sometimes the past continues to haunt the present; especially when evil deeds were committed. Social Worker, Rika, is just an ordinary woman, who is sent to the Tokunaga’s house in Nerima, Tokyo. It is a quiet neighborhood with no indication of anything bad. Then Rika enters the house to care for the elderly Sachie. At first Sachie doesn’t respond to Rika, she just lays down on a dirty futon inside a messy room. Rika hears strange noises from the ceiling and proceeds to investigate. Carefully, she walks upstairs and enters a room. She opens a closet door and there is a mysterious young boy staring back at her. Quickly, Rika walks downstairs to call the welfare center and finds an odd photo of a husband, wife, and son. The father’s face and body have been cut out. The boy in the photo is the same boy Rika saw in the closet. Sachie is softy speaking and Rika rushes in to see what’s going on. The she stops as a black figure floats above Sachie with strange eyes. So begins Ju-on: The Grudge.

Ju-on is divided up into short segments that focus on one of the many characters. This is an interesting way to shift from one main character to another so that different perspectives are experienced. Also it allows for one character to be alone. Throughout Ju-on, something bad is going to happen when everyone else leaves. Good horror movies isolate one person and that is when the really good scary scenes begin.

There are numerous human characters in Ju-on, but another character is the Tokunaga house, which becomes a haunted house, Japanese style. According to director, Takashi Shimizu, Japanese houses have many dark places where all kinds of evil things could be going on. He used to be scared and curious about those dark places. That is what he put into Ju-on.

The Tokunaga House was just an ordinary home for an average housewife. Then her husband returned and murdered his entire family. From that time on the place was cursed. What is interesting is that whoever visits the house, the curse follows that person from place to place. If the spirit wants you, it will find you wherever you are. There is no hiding or escape from impending doom.
Unlike traditional monsters like vampires who can be killed by a wooden stake or werewolves who can be stopped by silver bullets, nothing can harm this spirit. Also in many ghost stories, once the protagonist learns the back story, he can make amends by burying the bones in a cemetery and everything is fine, not so with this spirit. There is nothing you can do to appease it and it is furious with rage.

Ju-on is a scary ghost story with many creepy and wonderful scenes. It is best to be experienced without too much information going in. It is a wonderful horror movie that works on all levels. I have not seen the American remake so I have no comment. So sit back and watch Ju-on. Although you can watch it anytime and it will work for you, I prefer late at night when the darkness is scariest and your imagination runs wild.

Highly Recommended Ghost Story

5 out of 5 Stars

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2012 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2012 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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