I didn’t see this one coming but it should have been obvious. A new installment in the J-horror film series “Ju-on” is getting a release in July! We get to welcome back the extremely creepy boy Toshio, and his rather hot but super scary mother Kayako Saeki!
Japanese Title: 呪怨―終わり の 始まり
Romaji: Juon – Owari no Hajimari
Running Time: 91 mins.
Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Writer: Masayuki Ochiai (Screenplay)
Starring: Nozomi Sasaki, Kai Kobayashi
The story follows Yui (Nozomi Sasaki, lead actress in “Afro-Tanaka”), an elementary school teacher who visits the house of one of her students, Toshio Saeki, who has refused to go to school. As usually happens in the “Ju-On” series, she gets cursed and mysterious things start happening around her. She slowly uncovers the truth, the house is actually cursed due to a tragedy and that curse means that anyone who steps inside must die!
Not much is revealed in the trailer but I’m still pretty excited about this because I consider the “Ju-on” series to be the scariest straight horror films going. They are so scary that they are more effective on a visceral level than most of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s horror films at times! I can remember enduring the first one in a cinema, digging a fist into my leg every time Kayako’s throaty death rattle announced someone’s doom and jumping with every unexpected encounter and sighting of the yurei.
I’m not alone in feeling this because according to the text at the beginning of this teaser, “J u-on” was chosen as the scariest horror film series in a poll conducted on 1,800 Japanese people, beating “Ring” (2nd), “Saw” (3rd), and the “One Missed Call” (4th) series. I actually agree whole-heartedly with this poll!
Yes, even the first American remake is effective. I have reviewed three of the series so far – “Ju-On the Curse”, “Ju-On the Curse 2”, “Ju-On Old Woman in White/Girl in Black” and have notes for the others but it was for a stalled Takashi Shimizu season.
Anyway, the story set-up is the usual one for the series what really matters is who the director is and that man is Masayuki Ochiai. While I do not think he is as skilled as Shimizu in creating horror films, he is at least good. His gloopy, disgusting haunted hospital feature, “Infection” was entertaining to watch because it had an atmosphere of completely contrasting malaise and panic as an overstretched hospital was slowly devoured by a supernatural presence. There were some amusing moments and lots of foxy nurses as well.
There’s certainly a decent lead in the film since Nozomi Sasaki is a pretty idol with some acting experience.
So yeah, I’m excited… I hope I get to see something like Hitomi being stalked by Toshio and Kayako in her workplace and all the way home. That whole sequence was genius!
And I also hope that this project does not end up a train-wreck like the recent “Ringu” films… Which reminds me of another film season I have on hold…