The film's repetitious, episodic structure seems to unnecessarily alleviate the building tension, making it a far less frightening film than it might have been.
Stream Ju-on: The Grudge
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Because there is a new hero to identify with every 10 minutes, the viewer isn't drawn into a sustained suspense, but is merely subjected to a series of more or less foreseeable shocks.
Ju-on never snaps into focus like a "Go" or a "Pulp Fiction," and what at first registers as sloppy plotting starts to seem positively diabolical.
A haunted-house one-trick pony.
Basically, what you have in Ju-On is a collection of effectively scary sights and sounds - sound effects play a huge part in rolling that chill down your spine – and that's about it.
Its shapelessness and the cultural differences in acting style will keep this version filed under "cult oddity."
Shimizu generates a sense of palpable dread in each segment, expertly manipulating tried-and-true scare tactics supplemented by a truly inspired use of spooky sound effects.
Occasionally scary, never coherent.
The story is told in fractured time. This might not be a problem if his visuals were more fear-inducing.