Sarah Michelle Gellar is an American exchange student (an apprentice social worker it seems) in Japan looking after a catatonic recluse (Grace Zabriskie) and finds herself plagued by the malevolent ghosts present in the house, which has a violent past (though it thankfully isn’t a total rip-off of 'Ringu', unlike many Japanese horror flicks made these days, though there are moments). Ted Raimi plays her employer, letting you know that brother Sam Raimi ('The Evil Dead') was the EP.
Bill Pullman and the busty Rosa Blasi (seriously dude, she’s Russ Meyer-stacked) turn up as a couple in the memorable opening scene, and in a few flashbacks. Jason Behr plays Gellar’s boyfriend, in a nothing role.
Not-bad Americanisation of the Japanese horror flick 'Ju-On', by the same director, Takashi Shimizu (and featuring some of the same cast), is more linearly told than the original, but also scarier (and more intriguing) than any of the 'Ringu' films (Japanese or American), and about on par with the Japanese flick 'Dark Water' (and the solid Americanised version with Jennifer Connelly). Gellar does more reacting than acting (not that she’s ever been a good actress anyway), and for a film set in Japan, there sure are a lot of Yanks.
Still, it’s stylish and pretty scary, even if you’re not sure what the hell is going on (and you’ll definitely get that feeling from time to time) or who any of these people are. This is not a masterpiece of character or plot, exactly, but it’s quite a bit of fun, even if I much preferred the original’s Megumi Okina to Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Personally, I think this more stream-lined Americanisation is slightly better than the original. Fans of J-horror will like it even more than me, I prefer the more bizarre, extreme Hong Kong horror, personally.