Starring Shô Aoyagi, Nozomi Sasaki, Yasuhito Hida, Kai Kobayashi, Misaki Saisho
Directed by Masayuki Ochiai
It’s hard to believe that when all is said, done, and accounted for, there have been nine Ju-On flicks: two Japanese TV movies, three Japanese films (including this), three American films, and whatever the hell that Ju-On: White Ghost / Black Ghost thing was. Needless to say, the chills have LONG been gone. Know what that means? Yep, you guessed it! Time for a reboot!
Ju-On: The Beginning of the End takes place over two decades and focuses on three periods in time. Some of the things we thought we knew about the evil gurgling ghost Kayako and her pale son, Toshio, have changed… in particular the way that each of them died. This flick shows us the fateful day the bodies were discovered, then fast forwards ten years when four witless teens decide to test the curse by entering the house, and then jumps to present day when schoolteacher Yui (Sasaki) notices that one of her students has not shown up for class for several days. Taking a vested interest in the well-being of her absentee student, she goes to investigate. Can you guess where the missing lad lives? Of course you can!
It’s kind of funny… Ju-On: The Beginning of the End‘s biggest strength is also its greatest weakness in that it both looks and feels like a Ju-On movie, but much like its numerous predecessors, we’ve seen it all already countless times. The missing jaw, the bed scare… despite some minor changes to the mythos here and there, what we have is akin to a mix tape of greatest hits. This results in a fantastically mediocre experience, which has become par for the course in 2014.
If there’s one thing good that can be said about Ju-On: The Beginning of the End, it’s that it is a far batter reboot of the franchise than Sadako 3D was for The Ring. But that’s not exactly saying much.