Chinatsu Wakatsuki, Mirai Ueno, Eriko Kazuto
With so many Asian horror flicks that look alike and play
out in similar fashions, one has to really make an effort
to set themselves apart in terms of execution. While many
films have at least managed a few disturbing moments here
and there, it's quite difficult not to quickly draw a line
between the feature and the likes of Ju-On or Ringu.
In Ju-Rei, though, the way the story is told provides at least
a bit of mystery.
Played out in ten chapters and a prologue, Ju-Rei is
chronologically presented in reverse. The viewer begins at
the final chapter and is pulled backwards through the story.
While this may seem an odd way to do things, it is successful
in keeping a bit of mystery to the proceedings. The viewer
is assured that the person in the current chapter will die,
but how and why they die is where they must piece the puzzle
As with many of these kinds of flicks, the story revolves
around a disgruntled ghost that's killing people one by one.
As the story moves along, viewers will realize that the spirits
who are claiming people are those who died previously. I'm
not going to lie to you about this - the story really isn't
all that deep and the big "reveal" didn't really answer a
lot of questions.
Where film does excel though is in the real-life presentation
of the people and more than a few creepy sequences. Certain
chapters, like the one with the little boy who is waiting
for his mother to pick him up from the school, have sequences
that are downright unnerving. And, the chapter with the older
lady who is laying in her hospital bed as the spirit stands
off in the distance, barely visible in her blurry vision proves
to be unsettling as well.
The film quality is pretty low-grade and the special effects
require a bit of imagination, but this overall "independent"
feel to the film works in its favor. The film is pretty short
and very little is revealed, leaving far more dead bodies
If you're looking for a rental to fill your Ringu/Ju-On
void, then Ju-Rei makes for a nice diversion. There
are more than a few moments that will leave you creeped out,
but don't expect this to be the pinnacle of the genre.