The straight-to-video and original Ju-on, the one that silently started the franchise, is a cramped 70 minute ghost tale of sorts that plays on secrecy rather than resolution. Spawning from the recent triumph and return of Japanese horror, including the well popular Ringu, Ju-on: The Curse is of course unsettling and notably effective in the way it does so, despite its low-budget state that clouds the film.
Six stories are one by the film’s end. There’s a house where bad shit happened and the effects on whoever crosses paths with the house are threatened both obscurely and ghastly. Sure, it is quite unsettling and at times the low-budgetness is diminished by a killer shot or spooky moment. Sadly, it can reduce the creepy and unnerving nature that it set out to accomplish. And perhaps, the stories aren’t joined together so well. Some are short and sweet, and others aren’t. However, actors’ performances are quite exceptional when considering how straight-to-video this thing is.
If it wasn’t thanks to the film being so low-budget, then Ju-on: The Curse could have been a lot more disquieting. Perhaps the later and more popular third installment, Ju-on: The Grudge will answer that for me.