Dir: Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On: The Grudge 1-6, The Grudge [US version])
Something is seriously scaring some Japanese people. Not sure why, but it sure is scary. This entry into the Ju-On sextet was remade into the American release, another in long line of recent Japanese horror remakes. I can't help but think that there is something I am missing by jumping in at this point, but this is one that was on Showtime, so there you go.
Apparently when folks are horribly murdered, their spirit hangs around and torments anyone that happens to pass by. Normally, we expect horror movie spooks to be haunting for some purpose. "Give me a proper burial!" "Joe was the one who cut off my head!" "Grandpappy's gold is buried in the backyard!" But here, near as I can tell, good sweet innocent people like schoolchildren and well meaning social workers are indiscriminately haunted and killed. If that's the case, and I am not missing hidden reason for the actions of the ghosts from the series, then what a depressing, nihilistic view of the world that is!
The movie is very low budget, which is good for this sort of story. Acting has to replace special effects, and all of the actors seem genuinely afraid. The extent of the special effects is some past-white make-up, and I enjoy that sort of aesthetic. Editing has to provide the tension. While I can't say I was ever genuinely frightened, there are some memorable images, especially a scene near the end with a ghost crawling down the stairs.
I see where this Japanese genre is going, but I bet there are better entries in it.