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  • The most important thing you need to know is this is a film called 'The Ring Virus' not 'Ring'. This is a Korean remake but with new material which focuses more on Koji Suzuki's original Novel 'Ring'.

    A mysterious video tape causes the death of 4 teenagers all at the same time on the same day. One of the victims aunt decided to investigate and soon finds herself in a race against time to find the source of the video tape.

    This film chose a more plot driven story than the suspense of the other versions. However the scenes change fast and characters seem to just appear at new locations sometimes leaving you wondering why they have gone there. I have read the book so I found the film easier to follow. Another nice addition to this version of the story is a deeper background about the character Sadako (or in this film Eun-Suh). Without giving too much away I felt it was nice to see the inclusion of her 'secret', that was left out of both the American and Japanese adaptations of the novel.

    The camera work is average and also very repetitive of the Japanese film (sometimes using identical shots) but there are moments that work better in this film and some moments that fall flat.

    I would only recommend this film to people who are fans of the ring series and would like to see the novel brought to screen more accurately or would simply like to see another adaptation of the story. This film should not be viewed as an introduction to the ring series but more as a supplement.

    Overall, I enjoyed this film but couldn't help feeling it could have been better. But don't let people tell you its rubbish or that the 'new' plot themes ruin the original story because they don't and the new story lines are from the original novel and the true version of the story anyway.
  • I have viewed all versions of Ring and it seems my very unpopular opinion is that this version is the best choice. Why? The story unfold at a much better pace and relies less on 'mysterious insight' and the random exposition that sometimes clutters the Japanese 'psychic horror/mystery' films...you know the kind of scenes: two characters walk up to a piece of string and one looks at it and starts telling the other (and the viewer) the events leading up to the string's appearance. And no, I don't dislike that style completely, it does save a lot of time (and money for the crew) and advances the story rather quickly...it's just that I found slower building story of the Korean version to be far more interesting - and as far as my investigations have found, truer to the novel these films are based on. A good example is the omission of the distorted photographs (which are in both the US and Japanese versions) - I am told that was not in the book.

    The scary, more straight horror aspect of the Japanese (and even more so with the gore injected U.S. version) have been toned down to an almost non-existent state...one of the reasons why most people probably don't like this version. The video itself is a definite improvement. The fact that it doesn't 'cut off' abruptly but rather, taped over before the solution could be given - that is brilliant! Especially in light of current urban legend interest.

    Simple version: See Ring Virus if you want a more detailed, story-driven version (some say 'boring') - more of a creepy drama. The Japanese version if you want a mysterious psychic-powered ghost film. The US version if you want a hyperactive, steroid injected retelling of the Japanese version, in English.

    In the end, it just depends which method you like best.
  • 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.
  • After the mysterious death of her niece and three other teenagers on the same hour and with the symptoms of heart attack, the journalist Sun-ju (Eun-Kyung Shin) decides to investigate their last moments. She discloses that the four friends had just watched a videotape exactly one week before their death in a resort. She travels to the place and finds the deadly video and after watching the weird footage, her telephone rings. When she takes a picture of herself, she sees her image blurred the same way that happened with the teenagers. She makes a copy of the cursed tape to her acquaintance, the skeptical coroner Choi Yeol (Jin-Yeong Jeong). Together they seek for a hint, and find that it was taped thorough telekinesis by Eun-suh (Du-na Bae), a psychic girl that had disappeared years ago. When Sun-ju's little daughter watches the movie, Sun-ju has a stronger reason to unravel the mystery to save her daughter and her own lives.

    "The Ring Virus" is the South-Korean remake of the excellent 1998 "Ringu". This version is not bad, but why the remake? The story is exactly the same of the original Japanese film and in spite of the good acting, there is nothing new in this remake. I was curious to see this version and in the end I found it in the same level of the American "Ring". But in the end, better off watch again the original masterpiece, which is darker and scarier. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available
  • Every review I see for this film is for the original horror movie classic based on the best-selling novel by Koji Suzuki 'Ringu'. This is not 'Ringu', it is the Korean adaption of the movie. Very few people have watched this film has it had received its share of insults and bashing.

    However, I recommend to any one who loved either or both 'The Ring' (American adaption) or 'Ringu' (Original Japanese version) to watch this version. You owe it to yourself.

    I won't lie to you, the acting is poor and the actress who plays Sun-joo is so wooden it's frightening. Most of the scenes are dull and strange... But the scenes with Eun-Suh are handled beautifully. I watched this movie several times... And it really grew on me.

    Its nothing compared to 'Ringu', but like I said, it's worth a look.

    2/5 *** Stars
  • Damn, Koreans can make great films, just like their Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese counterparts. "Ring Virus" has to be one of the greatest Korean horror films besides "The Whispering Corridor" series.

    Sure it may be somewhat simple in the Special Effects department, but that usually does work the best when working with supernatural horror films. This one, as well as many Japanese horror films and an earlier Korean techno-horror film called "Screen Sairen", "Ring Virus" as well as "Ringu" has quite an original plot. An accursed video tape is being spread around and people who don't copy it and share it or live a lonely life, will die.And Unlike the US version of "The Ring", the video shown in this movie is not a typical rip-off of a Marilyn Manson music video. Instead, it seems to start off with being rather kind and innocent, yet abstract looking, which makes things much more terrifying.

    The settings of the film are quite excellent. The scenes filmed on the Cheju Island, is quite lush looking and beautiful, I started to wish I was on the Korean islands.Heck, I just wanna go over to South Korea, PERIOD!

    If you can find this film, please get it. I know it is hard to find, but it is worth it, much more than the US version.

    PS, Du-na Bae, the young adult actress who plays Eun-suh, is quite creppy looking, as well as gorgeous!
  • The problem with modern horror is that instead of genuinely scaring the viewer, Hollywood seems to have decided that fog and gore is enough. Well this effort from Japan (Which was made in 1998 btw) shows how utterly magnificent and scary a movie can be with the most minimalist budget. It's based on the idea of a disturbing video, which seems to be having strange effects on those who view it. Indeed, 4 of those who watch it die a week later. Coincidence?

    To be honest, I really don't want to give any more plot away as this is the sort of story, like Sixth Sense, that frankly one should see knowing as little about as possible.

    It is genuinely chilling throughout, and uses suggestion and psychological manipulation to achieve the terror. A known trick with moviemakers and games makers (To a lesser extent) is that it is not what the viewer sees that terrifies them, it's what they can't see. It's what they imagine and believe is happening which can so effectively scare them.

    And this movie does that outstandingly well.

    A word of warning; just when you think it's over and the chills have stopped, think again. The ending is the epitome of fear, and if you're not tempted to cover your eyes you're a braver man than I.
  • This film is the first remake of the Japanese film Ringu, which was later remade into the Hollywood film, The Ring. If you measure it alone or in comparison with the novel, it stands a passable affair, but you can't really leave aside some comparisons with Ringu as The Ring Virus takes several key elements from Ringu while also re-incorporating a few elements of the novel back into the movie. In the end, some of this gets all jumbled and it leaves a couple plot holes as well as weakens believability at times.

    I noticed right away that The Ring Virus generally takes a different aesthetic approach. While Ringu had a lot more natural/fluorescent lighting, generally casting the film in whites, greens and blues, The Ring Virus accepts warmer tones from incandescent lights and thus adds more yellows and oranges to the palette. Furthermore, the camera takes more dynamic movements and positions in The Ring Virus, although this is not necessarily a good thing. In some way, the Corean remake looks a little busier than the Japanese version and the overall look doesn't seem as oppressive as the original. Nonetheless, some of the shots are still taken directly from its predecessor.

    The story itself is primarily like Ringu. A female reporter finds a tape, which upon playing, curses her with seven days to live and she begins a desperate search for a way out of the curse. While the overarching story is essentially the same, the details and characters have changed. The partner in crime in this instance more closely follows the novel, as we find a medical researcher with no relation to the protagonist joins the case. Furthermore, the story of the ghostly villain has changed as well and thus her reasons for her vengeful ways have also changed. The story is infused with more sexuality and less paranormal science than Ringu.

    Unfortunately, many of these changes, even if more closely following the book, fail to work. First of all, the supporting character of the researcher doesn't come across nearly as brilliant as he is presented as being and there appears to be some remnant of Ringu's ex-husband in him as he has some unexplained bouts of clairvoyance. Also, because he has no relationship to the protagonist, its hard to believe that he would bother to join in her quest and endanger himself. In the book, he is at least a friend of the male protagonist (the sex of the protagonist got swapped in Ringu). I do have to admit that expansion of the ghost's story does lead her to be a more interesting character, but it doesn't save The Ring Viruses from the weaknesses in the details of the story. Add in a couple plot holes and a lack of attention to detail and The Ring Virus fails to impress.

    I found myself yelling at the screen during the course of this film and slapping my head in disbelief. Maybe if I hadn't seen Ringu first, this effort would seem less curmudgeon and while it does bring some interesting elements to the story, overall, the weaknesses in the direction and the story make it a slightly less than adequate affair. It might be an interesting first watch of the various Ring movies or an interesting comparison viewing, but otherwise, I think you'd be better served trying one of the other versions of the Ring story. Problematic. 5/10.
  • SlimeyPete4 November 2001
    I was lucky enough to catch this on TV the other night and it's left a huge impression on me. Until then, I had only been truly scared by two films - The Haunting (1963) and The Woman In Black. This one makes it three. There's very little violence, no gore that I can remember, and no sex - because this is a film that doesn't need to rely on cheap shocks and titillation to be frightening. The build-up of suspense is masterfully handled, helped enormously by the likeable main characters who you really do feel sympathy for. The use of sound is the most effective since Suspiria, and to top it all there's the joint-scariest ending that I have ever witnessed.
  • Not unlike the old clasics like Rosemary´s Baby or The Exorsist. A great attention to detail. And an even greater attention to the soundtrack (not songs). The atmosphere totally trancends the screen and completely engoulfs you. Great film - Must see!
  • s_sonjay12 May 2002
    Warning: Spoilers
    POSSIBLE SPOILERS Without doubt the best horror film ever made. The feeling of underlying evil within this film surpasses any other film you would care to mention. The seen where, u can almost physically feal the evil trying to escape the TV set is without doubt one of the most disturbing portions of any film . In most horror films u want to see the killer, kill again but not this film..........u r begging for her not to appear. The acting is worthy and the looks suit the mood of the film to a T. At the end it will leave u breathless terrified but wanting more..... 10 out of 10 has immediately gone onto my top 10 of all time. WOW
  • x_lars22 October 2001
    This movie gives the concept Interactive TV a whole new meaning. Watch it and have a good, old fashioned scare! The last suspense/horror movie, I saw before this one, was What Lies Beneath, and - although good - it was no match. Add to that the rareness of japanese movies in Europe, and that makes it all the more worth the while.
  • Tommy7621 October 2001
    This movie is really great, and made scary without the use of too many special FX, just like a horror movie should be. If you watch this movie alone, well... I was a wreck after viewing it. Unfortunately the DVD is not that good, image is not top quality with a lot of blemishes. The sound is Dolby 2.0 surr. Not that great either, but still sufficient. There is one very cool special feature though... The lack of quality is however soon forgotten once you get into the movie! A must see. I´m fairly certain that this movie will be remade and butchered by Hollywood, they know how to make CGI monsters, but not how to make a movie creepy...
  • drache7128 August 2001
    Like the other user comments on the film, I can only recommend this low-key, dark, and very well paced film. The plot, judged in the cold light of day, is a mish-mash of familiar elements - angry ghosts, curses, a house built on a grave, psychic powers - staple fare for the X-Files. However, the film's strength is in the director's management of the central conceit - a mysterious video which, when watched, ensures that you will die a horrible, yet inexplicable death in precisely a week. The heroine's desperate quest to unlock the mystery of this video and, somehow, 'lift' the curse provides the film with structure and tension. As the hours tick away, and the deadline approaches I for one was gripped with a near-claustrophobic panic. And the climax, where we learn precisely what has apparently scared the video's victims to death, is shocking in its clever effacement of the one thing which reassures about television and film - it's only on the screen, it can't really hurt us... Don't miss.
  • Ring is put simply, the scariest thing I have seen for years, and this is coming from a hardcore horror fan who was watching italian Zombie films from the age of ten. Watched it late last night. Woke up in a cold sweat hours later still freaked. As was the wife, who believes it to be the scariest thing ever. Probably is. If your blood does'nt run cold at least three times, you truly are made of stone.
  • MaxKomori14 March 2002
    compared to the original " ringu ", it has better lights, better direction, better acting maybe and scenes are very beautiful but to my mind the original movie is the better because it's more frightening, sound is more important and stick to your fear, and the more important " ringu" is a movie where picture is dirty and wicked, " the ring virus " is just a very well directed movie and i think hollywood will be very interested by this korean version of " ringu " .
  • ok, most people have already given what i consider to be accurate reviews of this film, which in my opinion is one of the scariest horror films around. The reason this film is so good is simple, its is well acted, well filmed and the plot isnt complicated. It doesnt twist and twined like many other films of the genre and this is the reason why even though it is subtitled it is incredibly easy to watch. The general mood of the film makes you feel uncomfortable from the outset and even when the film is over and you crawl from behind the sofa you cant forget this film because it makes you think.

    Lots of people compare this film to Blair Witch Project and i can see why, although the plots are completely different, both the films are made in the same simplistic way and because of this they dont have to rely on gore (although i am a big fan of the gore/splatter genre) or big special effects to create the suspense or the scare.

    There is a holywood remake of this film in the pipeline which i am sure will be complete crap, so i urge you all to watch this film rather than the remake.

    thanks for reading this and i hope you enjoy RING as much as i did.
  • I've seen every well-known horror film on the market - but none have scared me half as much as this film did!

    I knew I was onto something good when I found myself curled up on my couch watching through the gaps between my fingers.

    Good old fashioned suspense, light on blood and dialogue.

    I highly recommend this film.
  • A nice idea, and good execution of that idea make this a foreign film to see. The film does have a few cliche moments, but don't let that distract you from the film itself. It's very clever, very scary in bits, and the final twist is worth waiting for.

    It just goes to show that a decent horror film can be made without all the blood and guts. I don't think it was better than the Blair Witch Project, but you can see some similarities. It's worth a look, and you never know, you might be pleasantly surprised.

    And if you really can't be bothered to watch it, watch out for the Hollywood remake which will either be a total load of rubbish, or a good adaptation - probably the former!!

    6/10

    Enjoy!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had really high hopes for this movie, since I have read a lot about it. It did not disappoint me. The basic idea is great and the whole film has a cool mystery feeling about it. The climax scene was real scary, but I felt it was "given away" a bit by the DVD-cover. There were also a few questions I don´t think were answered, but I guess thats why there is a Ring 2 out there. Can´t wait to get my hands on that one... All in all this was a great horror movie, a lot more creepy than most of the Hollywood stuff. 8/10
  • If your worried about Ring being a foreign language film and having to read the sub titles and it spoiling the film ,dont.This film is superb. It just goes to prove if a film has a superb story , good acting and good cinematography you dont need flashy special affects or blood and gore to make a good horror film. Believe me this IS a very scary horror movie.The story is so simple that the horror takes over without you being distracted by a complex plot or over the top Hollywood stunts. The nearest film that compares to Ring is maybe The Blair Witch Project , not for the story because they are completely different but for concept. The concept being that what dont see and what your mind thinks might happen can be far more frightening than in your face Horror. I would recommend this film for anybody who fancies being scared out of their mind. 8 out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ::SPOILERS::

    Some friends were ranting about how damn good Ring and its sequel were, so I rented the first one last night to see whether all the fuss was justified.

    It was.

    Bloody hell. I've never been to terrified at a film in my life. Actually, I've NEVER been scared by a film. I can appreciate creepy moments and often feel mildly uneasy after watching a film, but never this level of fear. Oh, no. I had to sleep with the light on. What sort of fool am I?

    The idea of a sort of haunted video tape is rather American High School Horror Film-ish, but Ring is so much more than that. It begins with a couple of teenagers in the uncomfortable (but brilliant) opening scene, then begins to concentrate on adults.

    The tension builds slowly -- helped along by the magnificent soundtrack and the sound effects of the video -- and things that happen often have no build-up. For example, if it was a Hollywood film then THAT spectacular well scene would have been chock-full of intense music, building up to a crescendo when Sadako's hand comes out of the water. But was it? No, there was no sign that anything was going to happen. I mean, I had my suspicions but there was no build up. So, when it happened I jumped a good five feet into the air.

    I thought that was it, but there was yet ANOTHER climax in which Sadako crawls out of the television. That scene should go down in history as THE creepiest film scene of all time. The bloodied fingernails, the twisted, clutching fingers, the hair over the face, and THAT eye combine with the inherent terror on her victim's face and the cliche baddie-always-moves-slowly-and-goodie-always-moves-quickly-yet-baddie-always-gets-goodie thing to create a scene that I fear will never leave me alone. There's a television in the corner of my bedroom. Did I turn it around so the screen was facing the wall last night? Yes I did. I feel stupid now in the bright morning sunshine, having to explain it to my sister. We've turned it back around, but don't think for one second that it'll stay that way when I go to bed.

    I've turned off my phone. And I've forced my boyfriend to watch the film, and told him to show it to his mates.

    Just in case.

    Mieko xxx

    10/10
  • This is one of the scariest film I've ever seen, even if i did watch it by myself on Friday 13th at midnight.

    The photography is inspiring, along with the beautiful Japanese scenery. In referral to the story line, it is a refreshing 'back to the old school' style of a horror movie. In other words its what you don't see that you should fear.

    There are minimal special effects but those effects that are there are done with great skill.

    Make sure you see the subtitled version and not dubbed. Dubbing makes films seem somewhat comical.

    10/10
  • It seems many of the votes and comments on this page have been confused with Hideo Nakata's Ringu(which is superior in every way).

    This is a joint Korean and Japanese re-make of that film, and although it follows the book by Koji Suzuki(a great read) much more closely, it still fails to deliver the spine-tingling chills of 'Ringu'. I would go as far as to say that this film can not even be classed as a horror, as there is nothing horrifying about it.

    I will give this film 6 out of 10, it's worth at least one viewing, just don't expect anything remotely scary.
  • This film may at first seem like a run of the mill horror, but somehow the director puts together elements needed to create some *very* chilling scenes. You will never look at a TV with the power off the same way again.
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