Hhaha, ohhhhh, you HAD to ask. Well, as this IS a forum, lemme offer my 'pinion on Ju On
(with more emphasis on the former).
WARNING: following contains spoilers if you plan to see Ju On or Ringu.
Man . . . of all Asian-based horror films thus far . . . all I can say is that Ju On
, from my point-of-view at least, ended up presenting itself as vaudevillian.
For every review, opinion, post I read in anticipation of Ju On
, I can honestly say that this film will forever be posted on my "letdown" list. Oh, man . . . a boring, uneventful, confusing horror film. The "scary" scenes become mundane quickly. No, you know what? I take that back -- you actually get IRRITATED by them; I swear. I wasn't spooked like I was the night I saw Ringu
where (The Man is not ashamed to admit) I unplugged my TV set and (yes, the following WAS a chore) turned the set to face right against the wall behind it before I wen' go sleep; for Ju On
, if those apparitions showed up, I woulda' slapped the pale off of 'em (this is not intended as a racist comment, if you're wondering; the ghosts actually ARE, like, color crayon colored white) for boring me and letting me down so darn much.
What was stupid was how the film apparently tried to use the "out of sequence" tactic à la Tarantino (who, as much as I love the guy's movies, kinda' deserves to have something stolen from him for a change, no?) to . . . express something. I don't know what, and I refuse TO spend any more time on this film to find out. Just made things confusing.
The first film in a long time where I just plain lost track of the characters!
The fright factor in Ju On
is basically based on this ghost-kid, all in powder white, who keeps rubbing his knees as he's sitting down, and this other lady ghost who crawls down the stairs. They were both killed in some murder/suicide their father enacted (maybe he did it because he got so upset after having watched Ju On
) and, so, you know, the whole "restless spirits" thing done for the 4,230,786th time. I can't emphasize enough the silliness that the powdered donut look accorded toward both ghosts; indeed, they look like they were in the same room that had the abundance of flour in John Woo's The Killer
; too funny . . . yeah, that's what it looked like -- that the kid and the lady had existed in that opening scene from The Killer
and poured flour on themselves -- as they watched Yun Fat get his face splattered with the blood of that one criminal he shoots at point-blank range; then ran over to act in Ju On
. And they got these wide eyes that look too deliberate.
There is a segment that shows how the evil force in this film (I like to call it "The Ju On Juice"; and, honestly, this is something I just made up. Not making fun of a certain great famous juicer establishment) affected these school girls. They were kinda' cute, BUT EVEN THEY COULDN'T SAVE THIS . . . film.
After the film, a colleague, after hearing my mini-rant, agreed, but also had to ask if I had seen THIS movie before I saw The Eye
could I see myself being frightened. I'm glad he asked because it made me reflect just how cheezy this Ju On
is; the scare-tactic wears off before the movie even starts. Seriously. Ringu
followed the same tried and true formula that keep age-old and similar horror/thriller films, such as Jaws
, so successful -- indeed, you really didn't get to see how victims were actually killed until the END of Ringu. I mean, sure it borrows (what film doesn't), but the style was great. This one . . . I was waiting for Haley Joel Osment to appear to pronounce: "I see wide-eyed, flour-covered, dead people."
There are these phones that keep ringing in the film. Just once, JUST ONCE I wanted the caller to say, "you'll die in 7 days" just as a homage, or even to add to the outrageous cop outs.
I viewed the film at a recent Hawai'i International Film Festival
and lemme tell ya, folks laughed audibly throughout the film, admittedly, when warranted (which is, basically, a lot of the time). For example, when one of the female characters enters her home, she notices some invisible force and, she doesn't run out of the house; what does she do? SHE LEAVES HER BEDROOM DOOR OPEN AND JUMPS INTO BED, UNDER THE COVERS! Yeah, that made the entire theatre laugh; and I dunno if that effect was intended by the director. That WAS funny, though. Then that kid appears under her covers, staring at her. Yep, that scene not only served as slapstick comedy, but totally derailed the film for me thereafter.
And that lady crawling down the stairs, making cockroach noises . . . that was confusing. Sometimes she was all bloodied up. Sometimes she wasn't. Ugh. What is going on, sistah!?
If this film is any indication (cripes, not even the sexually-charged horror film Gozu
-- which I also saw during the festival . . . which was, OK . . . VERY GROSS, Gozu
was, but not uber spooky -- was any good) I REALLY think Japanese horror films are becoming TOO ambitious . . . a bit overzealous. Sad, sad. They really need to get back to the drawing board that made them great, even from Kurosawa's time (I mean, the Thai's show some signs of kicking bootay w/The Eye
and Korea's getting into the act too, quite competently, with stuff like Memento Mori
Again, at least Ringu
stuck with the always effective building-up-throughout-the-film-then-finally-showing-the-monster-at-the-very-end device.