Hey folks, Valkor here. And I'm about to crack down on my TOV 15 films of horror. And I'm gonna keep it in Japan for this next flick, because I love the Ju-On series, I was stoked when this film crossed my desk, and I was quite satisfied with my overall viewing experience. So If you're looking for a film to add to slip into your horror rotation, then number 6 on the TOV list – The Grudge: Girl in Black aka Ju-On: Kuroi Shojo (directed by Mari Asato), is right up your alley.
" when one person dies with a deep and burning grudge, a curse is born "
The Grudge: Girl in Black, continues in Ju-On fashion, where a group of people are murdered over the course of this one hour film. Each character is connected to one another and all are linked to one girl – Fukie. Fukie, it was discovered was born with her twin sister inside her and now that sister is spreading the Ju-On curse. What I love about the series, especially this film, is that it isn't a story per say – stuff just happens. To get an idea, let's look at each character the film features:
Tetsuya (Koji Seto) – Part-time worker who lives and has the hots for his next door neighbor Yuko, however she ignores him and walks past him in a daze. One morning as he's leaving and she's entering her apartment, her door swings open, Tetsuya walks in to check on her, and well… it begins
Yuko (Ai Kago) – Fukie's nurse and witness to events that have happened to Fukie such as seeing something in her stomach or the ghost chick. Also witnesses the death of Tetsuya.
Ayano (Yuno Nakazono) – The employee of Fukie's dad, Yokota; after quickly leaving the cab they were sharing, she is met with the ghost girl.
Fukie (Hana Matsumoto) – The host of the ghost chick, who resides within her.
Yokota (Masanobu Katsumura) – Fukie's dad. Dude's been having affairs and inadvertently kills his lover, whom he tries to cover up the instance, but no dice.
Mariko (Yuri Nakamura) – Fukie's mom. Nuff said there.
Kiwako (Maria Takagi) – Mariko's sister, who also knows some witchery and attempts to rid the spirit from Fukie.
The creepy, little ghost kid that meows makes a very small cameo here and no long haired demon chick, just the black ghost chick that makes that same creepy creaking noise. So what did I think?
Girl in Black is actually the best story out of the bunch, as it's much clearer of what's going on with each individual and how the curse affects each one. The connection between each character is smarter than I've seen in the past films and the pacing is evenly paced – not too fast, not too slow. The mood is definitely as creepy, with not too many jump scares, but just enough to give you the chills. The acting is up to snuff, if not better than in the last films and the ending was completely unexpected. Overall I enjoyed it.
The fact that the meowing kid wasn't present as much; now this little guy knows how to scare, because he pops up at points in the story (I'm talkin past films), where you really didn't expect him to. Also not much in terms of twisted effects - this is more or less a straight up ghost story.
Yokota, as he attempts to bury his mistress only when he turns around, she's completely unburied. Now that's funny stuff.
The Grudge: Girl in Black is a great addition to the Ju-On series and, in my opinion, the best of the bunch. Fans of the series, this is definitely one to pick up. And even if your new to the series, you can jump right in, without worry because this film, doesn't look back at the past. Out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Ju-On: Girl in Black, 4 stars. Valkor tested, TOV Approved? You bet your sweet ass!