Monday, July 03, 2006

rinno's ju-on: video side

Ju-On: Video Side is the manga adaptation of the original Japanese horror movie “Ju-On” that was later remade for American audience as “The Grudge.” Although fans of the movies will recognize some similarities – the house is haunted by the spirits of a mother and son who were murdered – the rest of the plot is different. The movies focus more on the house, while most of the action of the novel takes place at the local school. Much more attention is given to the new family in the novel than it was in the movies. The novel opens with the murder of a woman and her son. Their house is soon sold to a new family. Each of the family members sees a creepy little boy and soon after each is attacked by a multitude of cats. The story doesn’t follow a linear timeline, which lets us learn more about the story of the house and the grudge. We see the real estate agent trying to sell the house, despite warnings about the evil in the home. The father of the new family dismisses the warnings as nothing more than a childish prank. The artwork is in black and white, which perfectly conveys the sense that evil is palpable. Since there is no color, we are forced to see the story unfold, for lack of a better phrase, “in black and white.” There is no gray area, just as there is no escaping the grudge. Since this is a novel and not a movie, there can be no audio sound effects, but that doesn’t affect the story in any way. The eeriness and horror are conveyed in the bold strokes of the artwork, especially in the scenes at the school where the mother’s ghost is encountered.


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