I suppose there could have been worse ways to waste my time and bandwidth, but my excuse is that I started it in England, when I did have unlimited bandwidth. I'm...a little better at choosing now, but it's still something I have to work on.
The Japanese are widely regarded as the masters of horror (the Chinese are lauded for their comedies and the Koreans for their dramas - it's a stereotype, but it generally works) but this film, which I remember being promoted at the Melbourne International Film Festival a few years ago, shows that even they can produce pretty mindless B/C-grade flicks. No matter what I say, I can't really spoil anything, since this piece is concerned only with trying to scare its viewers - the murder opens the film, and then we are subjected to witnessing the fates of a series of characters who somehow find themselves at the same haunted place. And not only was it plotless, the situation was way too improbable. I was surprised that the family moved into the house in the first place - aren't people in Japan interested in what has happened at a particular site in the past? And surely all those deaths would have made people suspicious of the place. The creepiness is there, perhaps not as intense as in Ringu, but the absence of logic leaves a lot to be desired.
Perhaps the only thing that can be said about it is that the premise of the film has a lot more resonance in Asian cultures where opinions, practices and grudges indeed last for generations, as can be observed in the antagonism between China, Korea and Japan, particularly over the Japanese government's widely criticised censorship of the truths of WWII (history isn't only written by the victor after all, but you know, these points of view are also important), and the respect they still accord those who are regarded as war criminals by most of the rest of the world. I mean, I'm pretty certain we've all forgiven the Germans already, and most of the West has forgiven the Japanese, but not so a large number of Asians... But I'm digressing. Back to the film, I'd recommend rewatching Ringu instead, but imdb reviewers seem to suggest that the rest of the Ju-On saga, including it's American pieces, expand on the premise a bit more rewardingly, if one gets that far. Bar the unlikely situation of me being very bored and seeing the DVD on a library shelf at that time, I won't. 5/10