Ju-On: The Grudge

Rated 2.0 The title of this horror film from writer/director Takashi Shimizu refers to a curse that is manifested in and passed along by the ghosts of people who die in a fit of rage. A volunteer social worker sent into a home where a murder has been committed crosses paths with an apparently abandoned elderly lady, a black cat and a pastel-blue-hued child apparition, as a string of hauntings are unleashed into the community. The emphasis here is on a truly creepy tone that washes over the film like moon-tugged tides in which characters and plot splash in fractured, hop-scotching pieces of time. The film is, at first, extremely chilling then terminally repetitive, but ignited enough attention to generate an Americanized version starring Sarah Michelle Gellar that is due out this fall.