The Duke On Ju-On 2
A good ghost story is pretty much like a large erection, in that it’s annoying as fuck when you’re trying to get to sleep, but a hell of a lotta fun none the less.
I ain’t gonna bullshit you, folks, cause I just wouldn’t do that, not when it’s something as important as the follow up to one of the greatest horror films what any motherfucker ever made. Call me naive, but I’m just not the type of fella what would do such a thing.
This Ju-On 2 What Is Really The Fourth One is like the best erection you ever had.
That’s about as far as The Duke will take that particular simile. That metaphor’s just about fit for the old heave-ho right about now.
As far as The Duke is concerned, the best ghost stories are the ones that start and end within a few sentences. “A girl died in my house once and one night I woke up and saw her at the foot of my bed. I fucking shit myself is what I did.” That right there is the perfect spook-tale. I don’t wanna know that you were having trouble in your marriage, or that the girl whose ghost you seen had been a member of some fucking Freemason sect or some shit. I just want the event, plain and simple.
These filmmaking types, though. Man, they get it all the wrong in the world most times.
Most times they think you wanna know about a teenager is having problems with her boyfriend, and her parents are fucked off on account of a merger taking place at work or some such perfunctory dross. By the time we get to the girl at the foot of the bed, we’re half asleep, only to wake up in time for some overblown FX-laden climax of some kind.
What a load of arse-gas that is.
It’s like telling a joke when you’re drunk. A chicken crossing the road to get to the other side, now that’s funny. But a few pints later and suddenly that whole chicken crossing the road plot gets bloated like that motherfucker at the end of Akira. Suddenly the chicken’s got a backstory, and a wife at home, and there’s a reason for him crossing the road. I don’t want the damn life story of this motherfucking poultry, just get to the point, man.
Anyhow, point is, only twice in my pre-Ju-On existence have I had the profound pleasure of encountering two pieces of work what said fuck y’all to the marital strife and the FX and the blah blah blah.
The first was Ghostwatch, which since went on to win a placing in The Duke’s Scariest Films What You Ever Did See. Ghostwatch got it right, because what backstory there was, was freaky as all hell, and when the scary shit started happening, it happened via subliminal glimpses and disembodied wailing and so on.
The next one, strange as it may seem, was Three Men And A Baby. It wasn’t Tom Selleck’s moustache, although granted, that went someway to adding to the general sense of unease. Rather, it was the now-legendary “ghost shot”. In case you didn’t know, what happened is a kid died on set / got thrown out a window / shot himself in the face, and as a result, he pops up in the background of one scene, just behind the curtains as Ted Danson wanders across his living room with his mom.
When The Duke saw this, being only a child, you understand, he shat himself asunder. I cried and screamed. I still do, but this time it really does have to do with the facial hair.
Anyway, I had long since given up hope on ever experiencing this kind of sheer unadulterated terror ever again. I got my hopes raised, though, when a film came out by the name of Ring, what was supposedly the scariest thing what you ever did see. It was brilliant, no doubt about that, but The Duke remained uneasily at ease throughout. Ring 2 wasn’t scary either, in fact it was crud. Nor was The Spiral, the original sequel what was so shit they went ahead and pretended it never existed. Nor was Ring 0. You get the picture.
So one night I decided the thing to do was to give these Asians another chance, on account of the hoopla surrounding a TV Movie by the name of Ju-On : The Curse.
I almost cried with joy, and white-knuckle terror. But joy mostly.
These cats what made the Ju-On, they had got it right.
Ju-On wasn’t concerned with plot or narrative or any of that toss. Ju-On knew the score, as far as scaring The Duke was concerned. It took the form of a series of loosely-connected vignettes, all of which revolved around a house what was haunted, and all of which concluded with a truly bowl-disrupting freakathon.
Ju-On 2 arrived shortly after, but I’ve still to lay mine peepers upon it. From all accounts, it’s made up of no-less than 40 minutes of footage from the first one, with a bit of extra gumpf thrown in.
But fear not, because those enterprising Asians had the good sense to do a proper follow-up, by way of a theatrical version by the name of Ju-On : The Grudge. Again, this was sublime.
And so, this neat recap brings us up to this week’s episode – Ju-On 2.
I’m sorry folks, but The Duke is gonna have to make like Chris Morris and get gushing like there’s no tomorrow. This is utterly perfect.
I don’t know what to tell you, since every tiny plot detail is a surprise waiting to be uncovered by the prospective viewer. What I can tell you is that this has a slightly tighter grip on the old traditional narrative paradigm, and that it is easily the equal of its theatrical predecessor.
The sound design in this motherfucker is damn well amazing. Music is rarely used, with its place being occupied by a demented cacophony of screams, croaks, wailings and meowings.
Everything about it is unsettling. Folks sit staring at something, and we haven’t a clue what they’re staring at. Whatever it is, it’s fucking freaking me out, man, stop with the staring already. But no, they stare on. And we never find out what the hell was so interesting.
Honest to God, this is wonderful. And I didn’t even think I was gonna like it. The trailer seemed overblown, too showy. It seemed a world away from the subdued eeriness of the first features. I was wrong, though.
The fact is these films what go by the name of Ju-On are masterpieces.
There’s a Hollywood remake underway as we type, what has Sarah Michelle Gellar from Buffy Who Slays The Vampires in the starring role. The good news though is that it’s directed by Takashi Shimizu, none other than the motherfucker what did the originals. Plus, it’s being produced by Sam Raimi’s lot, and if he’s nothing else, Sam Raimi is a damn genius when it comes to the old horrors and so on.
See this, man. That’s all I can say. What the fuck more do you want, man? Sheesh. I’m just a normal guy, just like you, man. Give a guy a break, why don’t you.
If y’all wanna leave a scary story in the comments, I’d be very grateful. Go on. Freak The Duke. I dare you, I double-dare you motherfucker, say “what” one more time.
The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando.