I promised 31 horror movie reviews as part of Pauloween Horror Nights – here’s #1!
The announcement of two sequels in the Ju-On franchise worried some people, I think. After all, the last couple of films in both the Japanese franchise and the American franchise it inspired, The Grudge, left much to be desired (so much so that The Grudge 3 wasn’t even released in theaters). Were people finally tired of thin, long black-haired Asian women who burp to scare them?
Well, then they announced that not only one, but TWO sequels were coming to the popular franchise, Shiroi Roujo (Old Lady in White) and Kuroi Shoujo (Girl in Black). There were quite a few questions surrounding the sequels – two sequels simulatenously? Would they be two parts of one movie? Would they be feature length?
Well, I still haven’t seen Kuroi Shoujo, but to answer the final question, Shiroi Roujo is a 60-minute long film. It’s like a made-for-cable TV show, essentially, and filmed with similar production values. Don’t expect any of the fancy camera work or expensive special effects – this is a low budget Ju-On film. In fact, it really does feel (save for some violence), as if it was made for television.
Unfortunately, one of the first things to go in the budget cuts were the scare factor. Whereas my wife refuses to see any of The Grudge movies because the first one scared her so bad, this film has a ghost, and it does kill people…but damn, it sure ain’t scary. The “Old Lady in White” walks around holding a basketball (even after it’s explained, it’s still stupid) and, honestly, just isn’t very scary other than typical old people scariness. The fact that the majority of the film takes place either during the day, or in well-lit locations doesn’t help matters match.
That’s not to say the film is unwatchable. It’s got that Ju-On vibe to it, telling the story out of sequence, a family has bad stuff happen to them, yada yada – it all just feels like a lower budget imitation of the original, just with an old lady instead of a young one. Overall, for die hard fans of the series only, and even then you’re liable to not think the world of it.
PS….you can watch the entire movie on YouTube.