Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days of Halloween - Day 25 - Movie 1

Ju-On: The Grudge (2002) plays with time and chronology as it tells a series of interconnected stories about the people who enter a house inhabited by a truly malevolent spirit who torments everyone that trespasses within her home.

I thought it was time to revisit this very modern haunted house movie that is suffused with dread. The whole movie has the same feeling of unease that you find in a David Lynch movie, particularly the sequences in Lost Highway with the video footage from inside the house and the bits of Twin Peaks in which the Palmer's staircase and ceiling fan suggest menace. Also, like Lynch, Ju-On: The Grudge makes great use of ambient sound and music to enhance the mood of tension and disturbance.

The thing that makes this move most successful I think is that it takes it's time, is subtle, and grounds its scares in the mundane of everyday. It's also impressive that the bulk of the creepiness and scares depicted in this movie all take place in bright light and not in shadows and darkness. The haunted house looks like any other house with nothing to differentiate it from any house next door, until you are inside it.

The movie is very bleak, in that there appears to be no way to escape once marked for death, and that when the people are killed, or vanish, it's really like they are being pulled out of our world and into some place more final and full of despair.

I still really love this movie.

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