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Hideo Nakata’s Classic RING Giveaway
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Ring Virus
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Ring Virus (1999)

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Plot Summary:
"An urban legend is being murmured among the streets of a strange video that kills you exactly one week after you watch it. Presumably, after the tape finishes, the phone rings telling the person who saw the video that he will die in seven days. After her niece presumably dies like that, A young journalist begins to investigate the mystery and finds the deadly tape. Although she has been warned not to, she still watches the tape. A little while later the phone rings."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 13 April 2005 My Rating: out of 5


By now I'm sure that everyone in the Western world is more than up to speed on the path of the curse which flowed from book to film to sequel to remake to rehash to reimagining and on and on and on. Each version only succeeded in lessening the impact of Hideo Nakata's masterful 1998 original 'Ringu'.

This Korean version of the first film is actually closer to the book (from what I've heard) although to me it seemed as though the main plot elements from the original Japanese trilogy are present throughout.

The plot sees an investigative journalist Sun-ju and her partner try to track down the origins of a cursed video tape that they, along with the journo's young daughter, have recently viewed following the mysterious death of her niece. So far so not neccessary. The film basically follows the plot of 'Ringu' with a few differences until the well known conclusion plays out, albeit in a weakly executed attempt at scaring the audience.

The main differences found here are a somewhat philosophical subplot, changes in sex and names for the characters, more back story (which is all seen in 'Ringu 2' and 'Ring 0: Birthday' anyway) and a surprisingly quick pace.

The film starts out slow and mysterious with an opening death that has nowhere near as much of an impact as either it's Japanese or American counterparts, and then whizzes through the seven days despite the fact that nothing much seems to happen.

The partner/sidekick role which would be Noah in the American version is a dispicable bastard here and I hoped that they might surprise us by allowing the renamed Eun-suh to castrate him instead of merely frightening him to death, but alas the bastard didn't die violently enough.

Aesthetically the film looks bad as it is bright, which I felt was a poor choice for a film that is well known for it's use of cold colours and shadow.

This film only served to prove that they should bloody well leave the series alone now, as it's getting tired and makes the series of films impact and villain less frightening. If they are not careful, Sadako/Eun-suh/Samara will end up about as frightening as her Tabitha alter ego in 'Scary Movie 3'.

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