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Phone (2002)

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Plot Summary:
"Soon after Ji-won gets a new cell phone, her friend's young daughter, Yeong-ju, puts it to her ear and immediately begins screaming in terror. When other strange things start happening in connection with the phone, Ji-Won does some investigating and discovers that of the people before her who had the same number, almost all of them died suddenly under unusual circumstances. As Yeong-ju's behavior becomes increasingly alarming, Ji-won digs deeper into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the number's first owner, a high school girl named Jin-hie."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 28 January 2005 My Rating: out of 5


When journalist Ji-won finds herself being stalked by a sex fiend after exposing his antics in a series of shocking articles, she takes refuge at a friend's house and changes her phone number in an attempt to escapes the pervert's sights. Ji-won soon begins to receive even more frightening phone calls, and finds herself investigating a curse connected to her phone number.

Whilst watching Phone, I quickly became aware that Asian horror movies are just as cliche and derivative as their American counterparts.

Despite some good performances (especially the creepy little girl) plenty mood and atmosphere, and some good jumpy bits, Phone 'borrowed' heavily from every preceeding horror movie that has been released.

Ghost girls with long hair and a fondness for technology, hair clogging up the bathroom taps, women obsessed with the sea and creepy moments in the classroom were all present and correct, but merely made the film come across as a TV movie version of scarier films.

Where phone differs is in it's use of flashbacks to convey the majority of the plot and it's twist on genre cliches. The film is quite predictable to a point, but then viewers who were too alarmed to question motives will more than likely be fooled by the film's conclusion.

If you enjoyed 'Ring', 'Dark Water' and 'Ju:on' you won't be entirely disappointed by this, but you will most certainly notice more than a few similarities. I know that a lot of the same elements are used in Asian horror movies, as they are based on real factors that frighten Asian audiences, but I'm afraid we may soon grow tired of seeing the same thing with each ensuing Asian release.

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