9 February 2016

JU-ON: WHITE GHOST AND JU-ON: BLACK GHOST. 2009. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.


JU-ON: WHITE GHOST AND JU-ON: BLACK GHOST. 2009. A SUPERNATURAL DOUBLE REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

JU-ON: WHITE GHOST. 2009. WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY RYUTA MIYAKE. STARRING AKIKO HOSHINO.

JU-ON: BLACK GHOST. 2009. WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY MARI ASATO. STARRING HANA MATSUMOTO.

These two short-ish Japanese horror films can be watched consecutively on the one disc to make one full-length film. That's how I did it, anyway. To me, they represent good stark horror, probably cheaply made, the kind that leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. Okay, so they're not as good as the actual JU-ON: THE GRUDGE films but, one, they don't set out to be and, two, they're still powerfully spooky films nonetheless.

I watched them both back-to-back one Saturday afternoon and, afterwards, I was glad that it was time for THE VOICE UK and the Saturday night takeaway (the chipper kind, a snackbox meal and a can of fizzy drink, not the Ant 'n' Dec kind, I hasten to add. The very idea...!) and not for beddy-byes.

I generally tend to watch my horror films just before bedtime because it's the only time I get a chance to do it uninterrupted. I do, however, tend to head up the wooden stairs to Bedfordshire in a state of unnerved high alert for goblins, ghouls and ghosties as a result. Still, whaddya gonna do...? You have to do what you can when you can, right?

Both of these supernatural horror flicks were made to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the GRUDGE series of films. For those readers not in the know, the GRUDGE movies, the brainchild of genius film-maker Takashi Shimizu, tell the story of a woman and her son who are brutally murdered by their husband/father, Takeo.

The woman is called Kayako. The reason for her slaughter is a suspected infidelity on her part which, when it's discovered by the hubby Takeo, becomes motive enough for her bloody death. The rage and sadness surrounding the murders of the mother and her son and, incidentally, the family cat as well, are turned into a grudge or curse.

This curse will affect everyone who comes into contact with it from now on. As people seem to be positively queuing up to get into the murder house, there's a lot of scope there for many, many sequels, haha. In fact, there were a couple of follow-ups, unless my memory serves me ill.

JU-ON: WHITE GHOST was first up on my disc. It's the disturbing story of a young man who does a Takeo Saeki, which is to say, he kills his whole family after becoming possessed by his own mirror image, always an interesting notion. Unfortunately, he doesn't just kill his family. He begins to sexually abuse his own little niece Mirai as well.

Mirai has no-one to turn to but her friend Akane. Akane, being only a child herself, is unable to help her friend. Believe me, the guilt for having left her friend to her grisly fate never leaves her. And who- or what- is the hideous old lady ghost who keeps popping up around the place scaring the living shite out of people? As if I'd tell you that, haha. Me no give spoilers...!

JU-ON:BLACK GHOST has a terrific central plotline. Told in non-sequential order (like all the GRUDGE movies!), it's the story of a young girl called Fukie who's discovered to have a cyst in her body, a cyst which is causing all kinds of problems for the child.

When the cyst is found to be not a cyst at all but the remnants of Fukie's- get this!- unborn twin, the fun and games really start, by which I mean of course the horror and misery. There's no fun and games...! When Fukie's desperate mum asks her psychic sister Mariko to perform an exorcism to expel the unborn twin from Fukie's body, the s**t really hits the fan. I think you'll be (un)pleasantly surprised by the results...!

These two-films-in-one would be perfect for fans of the original GRUDGE films who just want the series to go on for a little longer. Though Kayako and Takeo don't really show up in either of them, their little boy Toshio drops by to say a quick hello. This was a most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I just thank God I didn't have to go straight up to bed in the dark afterwards...!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can contact her at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com





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