IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
TV-MA|Horror, Mystery|TV Series
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 82% Fresh (Critic Reviews) 87% Fresh (Audience Reviews)
Writer: Takashige Ichise, Hiroshi Takahashi
Stars: Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Yuina Kuroshima
IMDb summary: The legendary horror franchise that is “Ju-On” is set to once again shake the world as Netflix Japan sets to release its first-ever horror of Netflix Japan Original, “JU-ON: Origins.”
When a film or TV show surprises you in the best way, it’s something to relish as a critic. Ju-on: Origins wasn’t even on our radar, to begin with, it kind of snuck up on us in-between reviewing films on this list.
And our review choices in the horror genre were looking a little thin, so we decided to watch this and see whether it was better than the original film. It was better and made a lot more sense in terms of the plot, the background story and the characters involved.
From the title, you can gather that this is an origin story. And it doesn’t disappoint in that respect. It introduces you to a few solid characters that each play and their part in the understanding of what Ju-on is and how it has affected so many lives.
The timeline that the show covers exposes you to just how long this “haunting” has existed, dating way back to the 50s. This is never covered by the original film, so you can’t appreciate that there is a “why” behind the haunted house.
Yes, it’s a tv show about a vengeful spirit, but the background story fleshes out each character in significant detail and doesn’t leave a stone unturned. By the end of the show, you know everything about the ghost and why so many terrible things happened in the house.
Ju-on on its own is a reasonably decent horror flick. It’s meant to get more jump scares from its audience than anything else. But Ju-on: Origins is a lot more serious than the film and atmospherically, it’s extremely unsettling. To say that it’s “scary” is not really giving this show the credit it deserves. If we had to describe it in one word, it would be disturbing more than scary.
There are a few graphic depictions of violent acts in this show, and it’s a lot more violent and detailed than the film. Avoid this if you’re susceptible to being triggered by violent scenes.
In summary, Ju-on: Origins is the perfect companion to the film and excels in areas that the film doesn’t. If you want more of a complete understanding behind the film, forget about all the other follow-up films to the original and watch this instead. It’s also one of the first from Netflix Japan, and this show is a binge-worthy first contender for Netflix horror content.
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.