Ju-On: Origins Episode 1 (Netflix 2020, Japanese Horror, SPOILER FREE)
I watched episode 1 of the Japanese horror series, Ju-On: Origins on Netflix. I’m going to give you my impressions and let you know if I thought it was worth watching (with NO SPOILERS).
- Introduction: Franchise history, but I am a first timer. Innocent experience. What’ll it be like?
- Review by HORROR CRITERIA
- 1980s Nostalgia!
- Episode 2? Thoughts
Ju-On Series Canon
Ju-On canon includes 8 novels, 3 comics, a graphic novel, 13 movies (including all The Grudge films), 2 short films, and now a Netflix TV series called Ju-On: Origins.
Coming into Ju-On Origins, I had one question: can I watch the Netflix series if I haven’t seen all the movies?
I saw the Sam Raimi film in theaters way back in 2004, but that was a long time ago and I don’t really remember it, so basically, I’m starting Ju-On: Origins completely fresh.
To be honest, I normally avoid entering a long-established series where diehard fans are going to have certain expectations. What’s worse, I’m series-averse, since a series (as opposed to a film) is actually quite a commitment.
That’s why I’m writing this review for you. I want to save you time and energy.
Finally – one more point about the home team, my website here – here at Dailysack.com, I do my best to keep everything as spoiler-free as possible (and when I break that rule, I always let you know in advance). That being said, let’s jump in!
Ju-On: Origins At a Glance
Let me just get this out of the way: I liked the first episode. I thought it was completely fucked up, gritty, realistic, and best of all, genuinely terrifying.
Ju-On: Origins Episode 1 Review by HORROR criteria!
I like to review horror flicks by criteria that I think are critical for scary movies, for example “jump scares,””gore,” and “SFX.”
Jump Scare Rating: 2/10
This was not a “jump scare” episode. I think we’re still getting to know the characters here.
Creepy-Scare Factor: 4/10
Ju-On: Origins Ep 1 definitely had a “creep-scare” vibe. It was a slow-burn episode, but it was rich with dialogue, character development, and mystery. Again, these are criteria are what I usually use to judge movies (as opposed to a Netflix series).
Gore Ranking: 0/10
It’s not that kind of show. At least so far.
SFX and Music: 7/10
The sound effects and music added to the overall horror factor.
Yeah, when it comes to Ju-On: Origins, at least in the first episode, I’d definitely categorize the biggest scare factor as “other.” ‘
The most genuinely terrifying moments of the episode are not supernatural at all, but human-caused.
I’m warning you.
What’s Up With All This 1980s Nostalgia?
As a child of the late 80s and 90s, nostalgia from that era can rub me the wrong way if it’s not done right. Call me a complainer, but there were even parts of Stranger Things that were too much throwback indulgence for my taste (especially after season 1).
But I liked Ju-On’s nosatlgia flavor. It was understated, but still a central part of the setting. From the audio cassettes to the Chernobyl reference to the hair styles, there was never any doubt in my mind that the Ju-On: Origins story takes place in the 1980s. However, it didn’t feel like the directors were just putting in pop references for fanservice (which was what it felt like to me sometimes in Stranger Things and that Thor movie.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved both very much. But all this nostalgia does seem a bit like a cheap money grab. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that.
Should I watch Ju-On: Origins Episode 2?
Luckily, whether you’ve seen the films (and read the comics) or not, Origins seems like a safe starting point to get into the whole Grudge/Ju-On canon. After watching the first episode, I can’t wait to get into episode 2. In fact, even as I write the conclusion to this article, I’m antsy just to press play and get right into it.
In fact, I think I’ll do just that right now.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. After this, I’m going into episode 2 blind, and I hope you join me.
See you on the other side.