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Released in 2003, Takashi Shimizu’s “Ju-on: The Grudge” and “Ju-on: The Grudge 2” both had a simple premise — vengeful ghosts turn an ordinary suburban house into a death trap — but the scares, such as a kohl-eyed dead boy with a terrifying grip, were fresh and effective.

The films were hits and Shimizu went to Hollywood to work on patchy remakes. Back home, he struggled to equal his early successes, hitting bottom with “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” a clunky 2014 live-action reworking of a beloved Hayao Miyazaki animation that was savaged by critics and died at the box office.

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