Series Review: Ju-On Origins (2020)

This doesn’t follow the original mythology of the grudge films. Instead it rewrites the history about the cursed house and it is deliciously chilling.

Certificate: 18

Writer: Xerxes Pordely

Genre: Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 30 mins

Episodes: 6

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A reboot of the story behind the legend of the cursed house featured in ‘Ju-On’ and the ‘Grudge’ movies. Here we are asked to forget all the backstory we have already been told as we follow a paranormal investigator who is trying to find the connections between a series of terrible event that have happened in the same house.

This story isn’t even remotely told in chronological order. The show assumes that you are paying close attention and can keep up with the twisting, interwoven story. Under no circumstances is this a show you can bung on in the background. It demands your entire attention, and even then, the narrative gets very confusing at times. It also leaves several story aspects unanswered. If we get a second season, they may return to these mysteries? The film follows roughly 5 or 6 different narratives and towards the end you see them all start to tangle together, but only if you really pay attention to the small details.

Usually open ends in plots really niggle at me. I like my stories to have conclusive endings. Here however, the open ends really add to the creep factor and leave you on the edge of your seat, which is where you spend most of the time watching this show. They do a great job ramping up the atmosphere here. I am a huge fan of horror films and series, so I really appreciate when a show or film takes the time to get things right.

The show uses it’s graphic violence and outright horror aspects sparingly. So when they happen they are truly shocking. There are some parts of the show were the horror is just the things that people are capable of doing to other people. The unimaginably cruel trick the school girls play at the beginning of the series being the one I can’t get out of my head. But some of the horror and violence that they utilise will really unsettle you. Any of the scenes involving the baby really unsettled me. I had to look away from the screen at several points.

Lovers of horror and/or the original Ju-On Films will find plenty here to enjoy. If you want to check it out for yourself, the entire first season of ‘Ju-On: Origins’ is now streaming on Netflix.

Warnings for Violence, Sexual Violence, Drug Use, Strong Horror and Sex.

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