As Netflix’s first Japanese horror original, “JU-ON: Origins” is the first step towards a new chapter in the cursed creepy stories that started way back in 2000 with the Ju-on: The Curse and then goes on to build the successful Ju-On or The Grudge franchise.
As the title suggests, the new Netflix series is an origin story and banks heavily on the material already established with its horrific and gory tradition. As the fans of the Japanese original movie, this series has everything we may be looking for – although for some it may be less scary if we think of the usual jump-scare-filled stories.
What is in the story of “JU-ON: Origins”?
The Netflix series “JU-ON: Origins” follows paranormal researcher and author Yasuo who desperately tries to find the location of a house that is believed to be cursed by the demise of a mother and her child long ago. As a result of the curse or the evil spirit still residing in the haunted house, people or families who go on to live in the house dies an unnatural death.
While the author is indeed one of the central characters, there are others like the young couple, Kiyomi and Tetsuya, who are about to be married and searching for a house for them. Tetsuya happens to visit the house and thereafter he started having visions of a woman in white.
“JU-ON: Origins” focuses on the true events of which is the inspiring base of the story. Those are the beginning of the “curse” and give a raw look at the chain of terror that befalls all of those who come into contact with the house.– Netflix
In this six-episode (30 mins each) long series, the story moves through the late 1980s to 1990s during which we see multiple characters forming interlinked stories that come full circle in the latter half of the series. In the course, the story moves on with terrible episodes with a few gruesome and gore-filled scenes.
“JU-ON: Origins” – A prequel to the ‘Ju-On: The Grudge’ franchise
Until now there are as many as 13 feature films, seven novels, two short films, three comics, one graphic novel, and one video game made as a part of this extended lore franchise. From the creation of the 1998 short films: Katasumi (In a Corner) and 4444444444 (Ten Fours), the legendary horror franchise continues to scare viewers.
How good is the Netflix series?
“JU-ON: Origins” is one of the finest horror series currently streaming and that is because of several reasons. First, the story focuses on the mythology behind the original story. While its focus is on the haunted house, it follows the paranormal researcher and connects his life story to supernatural occurrences, explaining his obsession with knowing more about the secret of the house. Moreover, “JU-ON: Origins” never goes overboard with weird ghostly characters or jump-scares, rather it stays grounded with elements of realism.
The story keeps the unknown scare of the appearance of a white-clad visage of a woman as the core scary element, yet it never exhibits more often. Whether it is the mysterious footsteps or the ghost itself, the series delves deep into the action as it advances with multiple stories. One of the interesting aspects of the horror series is that every character who comes in contact with the haunted house is affected differently. What is shown in the story is that it is not necessary to visit or stay in the home to be haunted by the curse.
As far as characters are concerned, “JU-ON: Origins” features a diverse set of characters and some have interesting backstories that add to the narration. Most of the actors have performed well in this tightly written tale of terror.
Is “JU-ON: Origins” scary?
Talking about the scare elements in “JU-ON: Origins”, we must say that it is not scary in a sense of a jump-scare-centric tale, but it certainly builds the plot and narrates stories that are indeed scary, if we think of the real-life Japanese myths that have inspired the onscreen stories.
While at times it gets confusing with multiple storylines, director Sho Miyake successfully brings the puzzles together towards the end. Moreover, he relies more on the gory side of the events than ghostly elements. The use of great imagery without instilling too many jump-scares and sketching everything with more drama while pushing the envelope with realistic possibilities, make the whole narration engaging.
So, some of the stories (episodes) are indeed scary. “JU-ON: Origins” is a classic horror with heightened settings and haunting imagery. If you get scared easily, it’s a good series, but if you’re looking for something on the jump-scares, then it’s not one of those. Keep in mind that its scariness is laced with a few disturbing, brutal, and bloody scenes.
Netflix Original series: “JU-ON: Origins” (6 Episodes) – Now Streaming on Netflix
Director: Sho Miyake
Starring: Yoshiyoshi Arakawa, Yuina Kuroshima, Ririka, Koki Osamura, Seiko Iwaido, Kai Inowaki, Ryushin Tei, Yuya Matsuura, Kaho Tsuchimura, Takemi Fujii, Ryota Matsushima, Haruka Kubo, Shinsuke Kato, Nana Yanagisawa, Atom Shukugawa, Yura Anno, Tokio Emoto, Nobuko Sendo, and Kana Kurashina.
Script: Hiroshi Takahashi and Takashige Ichise
Music: Kuniaki Haishima
Genres: Japanese TV Shows, Horror Series