Ju-Rei (called Ju-Rei: The Uncanny on the US DVD, literal translation is "Spirit Curse") is a low-budget Japanese horror movie from director Kôji Shiraishi, better known for his later films Noroi: The Curse and Carved. It's also a completely shameless rip-off of the Ju-on movies. Broken into eleven chapters shown in reverse order, it traces the spread of a ghostly curse through Tokyo. It may be the most obscure J-Horror movie to actually get an American release; it wasn't even released theatrically in its home country.
Provides Examples Of:
- Back to Front: Uses this trope for its story as a simpler alternative to Ju-on and its Anachronic Order.
- Creepy Child: There's a little boy ghost, just like in Ju-on.
- Daylight Horror: Some of the chapters are set entirely during the day.
- Excuse Plot: Ju-on has a pretty simple plot dolled up with its Anachronic Order and copious Mind Screw. Ju-Rei hardly even bothers pretending it has any point other than to show a bunch of ghostly suspense sequences strung together.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The final shot of the movie is the shadow man characters have referred to as the portent of death rising into frame and intoning to the viewer "You will die."
- Ghost Story: A schoolteacher staying afterschool with a student waiting for his mother decides to pass the time by telling him one of these... right before the ghost of the boy's mother shows up.
- Hell Is That Noise: Some of the ghosts make the exact same "croaking" sound as Kayako from Ju-on.
- Additionally, in one chapter, a man staying in a hotel keeps hearing loud banging on the wall from the room next to his... which he finds out is supposed to be empty.
- Informed Attribute: The curse itself has one. We're told and shown at the beginning that death is foretold by a vision of a shadowy man in a black hood, but after the opening scene people keep dying without his presence, and he isn't even seen again until the final shot.
- Jump Scare: Though the movie is mostly built around pure suspense, it has a couple of these for good measure.
- Leave the Camera Running: While the suspense scenes are often effective, they sometimes become this. Particularly egregious is a shot of a scared girl hiding under a blanket which runs uninterrupted for a full minute and 53 seconds. Probably meant to pad out the runtime, which is barely more than 75 minutes.
- Light-Flicker Teleportation: Once the camera starts to focus on a flickering stairway light in a mostly-empty school, you KNOW a ghost is going to suddenly appear...
- Meaningful Background Event: A girl is leaving her empty, dark house to visit a friend - and just as she walks out of frame, the upstairs light comes on, revealing someone's shadow in the window...
- The Mockbuster: It's essentially a low-budget, Direct-to-Video version of Ju-on, including the same pasty white ghosts, out-of-order storytelling, viral curse, and even the same "croaking" sound effect. And yes, the original Ju-on was already a cheap DTV movie. This one is even cheaper.
- No Ending: The movie counts down in reverse order from "Chapter 10" to "Chapter 1" and then, finally, has a segment called "Prologue." While the prologue shows an event that was mentioned in a later chapter, it does absolutely nothing to explain the origin of or cause for the curse, which had evidently started even earlier.
- The final chapter in chronological order has no special significance either, even on a second viewing.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The main thing that sets this film apart from its obvious inspiration. Probably due to budgetary constraints, most of the movie relies on the suspense of waiting for the ghosts to appear as opposed to the outrageous nightmare imagery from Ju-on.
- The Virus: Just like in Ju-on, the curse works this way, assimilating the ghosts of its victims into its service.