The “final” film in the Ju-On franchise, The Final Curse is the sequel to the debacle that was the reboot. However, this one is a vast improvement over The Beginning of the End, with a better story, likeable characters, and even dares to try some new things. For starters, the haunted house has been demolished. The film has three-or-four different storylines. There is a rather boring continuation to the teacher’s story from the previous film, now focusing on her sister Mai, who is searching for her. She doesn’t really have much of an impact on the film, and her whole plot could have been left out since it just repeats the events of the previous film.
What is most interesting about the film is what they do with Toshio. He is still creepy, but develops a human side to him, and some fascinating new lore. In the previous film, he was revealed to be the ghost of a boy who died, was resurrected via Kayako, only to become the victim of the curse. It is then revealed that after the events of the previous film, Toshio is alive and moves into the home of his aunt and cousin. Yeah, we meet Takeo’s relatives. Reo and her mother are really likeable characters, and it is quite heartbreaking to see the two go from a welcoming, loving family into two broken women when the true but unfortunate nature of Toshio and the curse are revealed.
Reo’s two friends Midori and Madoka are quite likeable too, and it is quite said when they are both killed too, but rather than just being doomed to die, Toshio appears to eliminate them to cover up his true nature. Madoka gets microwaved internally, and she is the nicest character in the movie. Towards the end of the film, Reo and her mother are attacked by Kayako, and actually barricade themselves in a room, hoping to survive the curse. However, Reo’s mother grabs the knife and gets into a tense battle with her ghostly sister-in-law. Reo then goes upstairs to kill Toshio, but Kayako kills her first by breaking her back. Poor kid. All she wanted was be kind of her cousin.
I think the best part in the film involves a hosptialised girl who can see Toshio’s bedroom from her window. The girl, Ena, spots Toshio’s ghost leaving his body but he then sees her. Just when you think Toshio has come to kill Ena, they instead share a rather sweet scene where he visits her with his cat, letting her pet it. Ena admits she is going to die soon anyway, and even offers to keep Toshio company in the afterlife. However, it creates a double-edged finale when Toshio instead possesses Ena’s corpse and just dumps it aside when he reveals to Mai that the curse is eternal, and he, for whatever reason, is able to now jump between bodies or use them like puppets.
The Final Curse is a worthy addition to the franchise and makes up for the rubbish reboot. If you don’t include Sadako vs. Kayako, then this is the last Ju-On film to date, and I hope we get to see some more installments in the future. I think White Ghost and Black Ghost tapped into something with introducing new grudges, and if the franchise is to continue, it should do that with new stories and scares.