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11 September 2005 @ 03:17 pm
"The Juon" ~ aka "The Grudge" (呪怨)  
I just finished watching The Grudge  (In japan, the title is "The Juon"), the Hollywood remake of one of my favorite japanese movies, Juon (in japanese: "呪怨"). It was directed by the same director as the original, Takashi Shimizu, but featured Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy from the tv series) in the lead role.

I wasn't really sure what to expect out of this movie. I LOVED the original. It had a creepy, ominous feeling that stuck with me for nearly a whole day after I saw it. This one had the same kind of setting, and it definitely scared me to death. In all honesty, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I love horror movies of this nature, that make you think. But there were good and bad things about the remake.

One thing that I LOVED was that they kept the setting in Japan, but threw in Americans living abroad. SUGEEE!! I know how the characters feel, so I could identify REALLY well!! I do think that they're all a little bit rich, though, because they're living in TOKYO and still have their ginormous houses or apartments. ^^;; But that's just luck, I guess. I mean, even the boyfriend of the main character is living in a 2ldk, which easily triples the size of my tiny apartment, and they seem to be near central Shinjuku. *coughs* But yes.... the locations, the way that they feel, everything, I can really identify with. LOL And I loved the housewife poking in the bowl of ramen just to see if it smelled like a good flavor!! XD

I liked their use of japanese. I suppose this comes from having a native japanese director, ne? They did REALLY well, and the accents of the native speakers when they spoke in english to the Americans was really true to life. =D The realtor was EXACTLY how my realtor was, too. I thought that everything was kept very true-to-life, which is awesome. Though.... some of the parts that were in japanese but english-subtitled were, uh... dubious. For example, when the detectives were up in the attic and found the dead bodies of the husband and wife, one of them said "nanda kore?" and the subtitles said, "I wonder who this belongs to." Errr.... well, my japanese isn't that great, but it's a SIMPLE sentence, ne? How much effort would it have taken them to type up, "What is this?" instead, since that's what it really translates to. I guess that very very loosely it could mean the subtitle that they gave it, but not really... Er, it just sounded really weird to me. Btw, when Sarah's character asked for directions from the japanese woman, her japanese was really really good. It sounded really natural!! But all of the other times that she used it (like when talking to Toshio), it was, uh..... not so good. o.o Did she only have time to practice for that one line? Err, "WAtashi waaa Karen. Anata waaa?" LOL Poor boy, she sounded like a normal foreigner (haha, like me!). So why did she sound so good before that? LOL

That aside.. I really liked the movie. It freaked me out. I did NOT like the very end, because it kind of seemed forced, they should have left it off right before that and kind of went into creepy title credits or something. I DIDN'T like the super-special effects when the Grandma was 'attacked' by the shadows hanging from the ceiling, though. That kind of thing doesn't belong in a movie like this. I prefer that they stick to the original type of special effects because I really think that works the best in this genre, honestly. Other than that, and a little too-hollywood camera work on the stair sequence near the end, I thought that it was a really really good remake. Close to the original, but using slightly different elements with the foreign cast. It was a brilliant choice! And the story was actually a lot better explained than in the original japanese version, I thought. In the japanese version, I hadn't understood why the father had killed the family, and actually, I had thought that the girl was the boy's sister, not the man's wife. She was WAY too young. In this version, though, that back story was a lot more clear, and so I think that it came together a little better for me.

All in all, I really liked this movie. When I go back to the states for vacation, I'm going to buy the DVD I think. ^^ I liked the japanese version a little better, but this one was a nice remake. Definitely worth a watch!!
Current Mood: kowai~~~~
Jenniferrikunghts on September 11th, 2005 06:42 am (UTC)
A coworker gave me Juon on my last day at work. He said he knew how much I loved Japanese movies and such and said I'd enjoy it more than he did. ^^;; I still haven't watched it yet. *hates scary movies*
Kei: *chu*aoi_tenshi on September 11th, 2005 06:42 am (UTC)
XD wah glad you liked it...OMG never watching that movie again if I can help it ^.^; It's also fascinating to hear someone elses view on the movie =D If you weren't gonna like come here n get it for yourself I'd probably buy a copy just for you....and send it the minute I got it because the cover creeps me out T___T *hugs*
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 07:32 am (UTC)
XDDDD Maybe you can buy both the japanese and American ones for me (The japanese one is on dvd now, right?), and when I find the Yamabuki jersey we can switch? ^^
Kei: *lick*aoi_tenshi on September 11th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oki =D I have a HK bootleg of the original Juon...the subs are decent and they didn't do anything to the movie itself if that's alright with you ^.^ I'll also look around for the American release because the price will probably drop again XD;; Any other movies you want...? Because like dvds here are super cheap so may as well get them from here ne =D?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
OMG There are like... 300 movies that I want. ^^;;;; But it's not urgent, so don't worry too much about it. ^.^
Owlsie .:*・°☆: Ma-kun/Tachi [Two steps behind]alsie on September 11th, 2005 07:01 am (UTC)
I've been thinking of renting that. I'm a bit skeptical though [or rather, I'm not really a movie person, so I don't want to waste my money]. I saw the original "Dark Water" a few weeks back, and didn't even find it scary. [it bored me, actually.] I do like SMG's acting, though. If I do rent it, would you recommend me seeing the original first, or just go straight to the remake?
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 07:35 am (UTC)
I actually really love the original Dark Water. ^^

Based on your tastes, I think that you'll like the American remake more. I recommend that you see that one (plus like Sarah is a plus!) and then if you like it, go and see the original. ^_^
Yukikowingmyway on September 11th, 2005 07:09 am (UTC)
I watched it and I liked it too...I actually didn't understand the Japanese version thanks to my Japanese vocab which probably emcompasses like, 15 words??^^;;;
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 07:40 am (UTC)
XD I saw the original with subtitles.. My friend had a DVD from China. ^^ I think that it's out on DVD now though, right? ^^
Yukikowingmyway on September 11th, 2005 08:31 am (UTC)
The one I saw was one with not really good malay subs...^^;; You mean the japanese version? yup..it's out but since I already have the english version..XDXDXD *am stingy* oops..^^;;;
Erika 「エリカ」_mizuki_ on September 11th, 2005 07:23 am (UTC)
sounds nice~
I love Japanese movies, especially scary ones, but my family always complain about that X'D
I'll try to get my hand on both versions some day ;)
is there a novel for this movie? if yes I'll try to get the novel first since no one can complain about it lol
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
I don't know... if there is, I think that it would only be in japanese..
(Deleted comment)
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 07:49 am (UTC)
I really hated the japanese version of The Ring. I liked the remake though! ^^;;

I loved Dark Water!! I really wanted to see the remake!!!!! ;_; But it hasn't come on in theaters here yet. ;_;
Cherprudenceun_voyage_cher on September 11th, 2005 08:14 am (UTC)
adaasdhaslj I LOVE THE LITTLE BOY *______*
tsubon on September 11th, 2005 08:44 am (UTC)
Ah, Juon~!

I saw the original first without subtitles, while my friend half translated if for me. I was still confused on some parts, but I basically got it. I kinda thought the American version wasn't really scary, just a little creepy. The original seemed scarier to me. With the schoolgirls, and then the hands framing the eyes thing were the only times she sees the boy. Or something like that.

What you said about the 'nanda kore', I did that too. I don't know any Japanese, but even I knew that wasn't supposed to be "I wonder who this belongs to?". XD And I totally agree with you about the motive of the father's killing and the ending. In the original, I was confused on why the guy killed his family, but it made more sense then. And the ending was really disappointing, I thought...meh.
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 09:02 am (UTC)
I thought the original was more scary, and better overall too. ^__^ I like the creep-factor! I did like some of the scenes, though, in the new one, where some of the characters interacted with the little boy. It's more creepy seeing him out of the corner of your eye, but it made an interesting change to have a malicious spirit who actually calmly interacts with people. =D
tsubon on September 11th, 2005 09:45 am (UTC)
Ooh, yea! I saw that and I was like "Oh, that's different."

Ne, did you see the extras? They had some cool commentary and stuff. 'The Making of' was fun to watch, too. The American actors we're all really surprised and amazed by how efficient the Japanese crew worked and the pace they did it in. ^_^ I think they had a gag reel, too (and those are always fun to watch XD).
Hi-chan (火ちゃん)hinoai on September 11th, 2005 09:55 am (UTC)
No, I only got to see a DVD rip. ;_; I really want to see the rest, but I'll have to wait until I can get the DVD from America.
aly Says \ ألينramble_corner on September 11th, 2005 09:46 am (UTC)
i have steered away from this sort of movies since i admit i am a scaredy cat ^_^
but bro watched both version of The Ring and he said
the American version would have been scary if one had not watched the original but if one already did, he ended up laughing all the way through .. between naps -_- . Needless to say he got a faceful of pillow after that for that remark XDXD
Katsu ★カツー☆(^▽^): AtuurunxYzakkatsu on September 11th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
*o* I was really impressed by the remake of Juon. And I was surprised by SMG's acting! It has a very nice feeling..and I am a big fan of..TOSHIO! XDDD He's so adorable~ <3

I am looking forward to Dark Warter. It'll be here in the cinemas soon I hope.

Did you ever see part 2 of the original Juon?
Msakuraevolution on September 11th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC)
Cesar and I enjoyed the Hollywood remake of Juon more than the original... i suppose because the storyline seemed more structured (read easier to follow) and of course theres Sarah Michelle Gellar *^^*
Miwa Satoshimiwasatoshi on September 11th, 2005 09:31 pm (UTC)
I love how the Japanese love to put "the" in front of the most random things. Especially movies. :)
long gone with her red shoes on: knock aboutredshoeson on September 13th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
Oo, totally dig your review of it. ^^ It's neat to hear the thoughts of someone living in Japan right now, going thru that (sort of, LOL). ^^
Kathy★キャシーkatokathy on July 13th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
Omg the Japanese version of The Grudge is so scary. o.o;
I hate the part where she was walking down the hall and saw the camera! -faints-