13 December 2001 | galensaysyes
Not the original but not bad
The other reviews here sound as if they are at the wrong movie. This is not the Japanese film (which was itself a remake of a TV film) but the Korean remake. This one has been written about as if it were a cheap imitation, but the description in the catalog calls it the "official" Korean version, and it is not cheap but a slickly made film. It is also not a ripoff but the same story, with several changes, including slightly more sex and violence, and a construction and atmosphere closer to The X Files. Now the reporter's partner is not her ex-husband but an eccentric doctor (and possible love interest) who suspects supernatural foul play. The video is not an illicit underground fad for teens but an artifact that one group stumbles on by chance. We find out explicitly why and how it was made. The movie adds details that make the situation more concrete, but apart from raising more questions that aren't answered, this further explanation eliminates many of the story's scariest elements. The video, which was unsettling in the original, is nothing to speak of, and THAT SCENE--the one the viewer is waiting for--is a big disappointment. The staging of it might have worked in itself, but it is overlaid with a colorizing effect that is obviously an effect and takes the viewer out of the film. The scene in the well, however, is very eerie. On its own terms, this is a pretty good ghost story, and the performance of the leading lady could hardly be better. But it is nowhere near as scary as the first film.