The Cycle Of Abuse
Episode 3 of JU-ON: Origins sees us skip forward to 1994 where we see Kiyomi is a mother but her abusive partner beats out any happiness that may have been brewing inside her. Her child Toshiki, curled up in the closet, receives the brunt of abuse too after strange cat meows float out the doorway. As Kiyomi listens to Toshiki wail, she looks up and sees the same strange woman in white she’s been cursed with all her life.
In the morning, Child Protection Services arrive and see Toshiki sitting against the wall. Ariyasu takes her to the hospital where Kiyomi turns up and grabs her child. Just before leaving, Ariyasu sees the bruises on her shoulder and lends an empathetic ear, telling her to phone in the near future.
One year later, Yasuo has a new book out and visits Haruka in hospital . He asks for her help but for now she remains hesitant; the memories of Tatsuki still too raw and painful to deal with.
Back at her apartment, Haruka finds a tape hidden within her possessions and continues to suffer from ghostly nightmares. These follow her throughout the day too, as she visits Tetsuya’s mother and they go over what happened to her son and how it links to the strange house.
After some thinking, Tetsuya’s Mother uses her psychic powers to try and contact the spirit that seems to be following her. Out of nowhere, the crooked finger points to a position on the map. Tatsuya suddenly arrives and saves her, bringing Haruka back to the real world. As he does, the map happens to show a blackened area which, we’re led to believe, is the origin of the house.
Later that evening, Kiyomi is forced to travel up to hospital again after Toshiki suffers another injury. Her husband struck him with the phone cord and this cycle of abuse is something that Kiyomi’s had to face her entire life. Now though, it’s spilled over to those closest to her and it’s too much for this woman to handle.
Kiyomi breaks down into tears, vowing to change her life forever while Haruka makes her decision and visits Yasuo while he’s presenting information about his book and a serial killer called “M”. Just as he starts talking, Haruka suddenly stands up and pleads with him not to visit this killer.
The Review Write-Up
The horror in this series has been few and far between but when it comes to psychological abuse and showing just how damaging this can be to someone’s life, Origins captures this incredibly well. There are a few pockets of horror here, namely the child silently walking out the hospital ward, but it’s clear Kiyomi is seriously disturbed which may explain her behaviour in the last episode.
For now though, the show leaves things open for the second half to really gravitate further into horror territory after some suitably creepy foundations have been set.