Katasumi (片隅 Katasumi, "In a Corner"), is a Japanese short horror film released in 1998 alongside 4444444444 as part of Gakkô no Kaidan G, written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. In Katasumi, two schoolgirls are gruesomely dispatched by a horrifying ghost. It marks the very first release in the entirety of the franchise.
Two schoolgirls, Kanna and Hisayo, are in their school's backyard to feed their pet rabbits, all the time lurked by an unknown figure. While Hisayo does so, Kanna is impatient and just wants to leave. Kanna accidentally cuts herself and Hisayo leaves to bring her first aids. Alone, Kanna is surprised by her lurker. Hisayo returns and finds a trail of blood and her rabbit brutally killed. The girl notices something coming out of the bushes and sees a ghostly woman with her face covered by her long, black hair. Terrified, Hisayo raises her shovel in denfence and notices a ghostly Kanna staring and rattling at her as well.
Paralyzed with fear, Hisayo passes out.
- Ayako Omura as Hisayo
- Kanna Kashima as Kanna
- Takako Fuji as (Hisayo & Kanna's attacker)
- Ju-on: The Curse explains who the ghostly woman is.
- The schoolgirls' remainings (Kanna's jaw and Hisayo's dismembered corpse) are later dicovered in the corner and their mysterious deaths are investigated by detectives Yoshikawa and Kamio in The Curse.
- Kanna's background is also seen in The Curse.
Takashi Shimizu first became involved with the Ju-on saga when writer and director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who was teaching a filmmaking class that Shimizu, then working as an assistant director, attended, was impressed by a three-minute short film Shimizu had written and directed.
When Kurosawa learned that a producer he knew had just commissioned a feature length horror film for Kansai Telecasting Corporation, he recommended Shimizu for the job of directing one or more sections of the film. To complete this task, Shimizu wrote several scripts, each roughly thirty minutes in length, only to be asked to make two brief three minute segments (Katasumi and 4444444444), as the television movie was intended to be an anthology of short films. After being edited together, the collection of four shorts (one of which was helmed by Kurosawa) was titled Gakkô no kaidan G, which roughly translates to School Ghost Story G ("G" supposedly standing for "Great"). It was first broadcast on Kansai TV on September 27, 1998, and ran for around 70 minutes, meaning that Shimizu contributed to just under 10 percent of the finished product.
While it is often mistakenly claimed that the subsequent feature length video films Ju-on: The Curse and Ju-on: The Curse 2 are remakes of Katasumi and 4444444444, the two segments "are actually the foundations of Ju-on", according to Shimizu, and act "almost like the true prequel of the story." Katasumi, in particular, is notable for marking the first appearance of actress Takako Fuji (at this point anonymous) as Kayako Saeki, a role that she would reprise for every Ju-on and The Grudge related production thereafter, up to The Grudge 2.
Notes and trivia
- Katasumi (re-entitled In a Corner) and 4444444444 are featured in the Unrated Extended Director's Cut of The Grudge.
- Kayako's ghost manifests with her long, black hair covering her face, much like she is portrayed in the Grudge film series. In the following Ju-on installments up until Ju-on: The Grudge 2, the ghost has bangs.