This will be an infrequent part to the blog, detailing the top 5 greatest haunted house movies.
Ju-On – Dir: Takashi Shimizu (2000)
The advent of the Ringu films in the 90’s brought about a spate of Far Eastern horror flicks at the turn of the century, commonly known as J-Horror. Ju-On is one of the most effective of the genre, leading to several sequels as well as an American remake that in turned spawned a series of decreasingly bad films. The premise (if there is one) follows a series of events triggered from a house in inner city Japan where a brutal murder of a wife and son took place. Each visitor and in turn individual caught up in the history of the house suffers an ever increasing creepy death centered around the apparition of the dead mother or boy as they become part of the Ju-On or Curse.
The plot is thread bear if I was to be generous but the set pieces are incredibly effective, we get all manner of contorted, long haired, meowing werido ghosts and they bleed so well into the real life of the characters that after you finishing watching you’ll walk about the house checking behind you every five minutes to see if there isn’t a pale Japanese Cat Ghost behind you.
Unlike the more westernized versions, the ghosts traditionally in Japanese horror are more tangible – they physically interact with characters which provides a far more scary scenario than a poltergeist just chucking a plate across the room (more of that later). Generally the J-Horror films did struggle with narratives but made up for it in individual scenes and general f*cking creepiness. Sometimes you just have to go with it even if it doesn’t make sense, J-Horror at it’s best.