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Journalist Sun-ju (Shin Eun-kyung) investigates the death of her niece
and three of her friends at exactly the same time from heart attacks, and
the only connection she finds is a videotape all four of them have watched
a week before ... and when she watches teh videotape as well, she realizes
that must be the cause of their deatchs - among other things because the
video says you will die exactly in one week. Thing is, now Sun-ju
has watched the video too, and thus her life's in danger as well ...
Eventually, Sun-ju hooks up with forensic Choi (Jeong Jin-yeong) who
has performed the autopsy on her niece and who is just cynical enough to
watch the video as well (so his life's in danger as well) before the two
set out to investigate the backgrounds of the video ... and when Sun-ju's
daughter Boram watches the video too, she realizes just how much is at
stake for her ...
Eventually, Sun-ju and Choi realize that the video was not filmed by
camera but telepathically recorded on tape, and when they look through all
the recent cases of telepathy in the area, they soon stumble upon Eun-su
(Bae Du-na) who was once a famous telepath who later tried to become an
actress but who has disappeared 11 years ago without a trace while staying
at a sanitarium (where, by the way, a few patients died under mysterious
After much to and fro and after Sun-ju and Choi almost get stranded on
an island exactly on the day of Sun-ju's death, they make it to the
sanitarium and find Eun-su's former lover and the only men who knew her
secret: she was a hermaphrodite - and for some reason, that made him throw
her into a well and let her die in the well. Sun-ju and Choi now know they
ahve to find the well and her corpse in the well, and give her a proper
burial, just so her spirit can rest in peace ... and they manage to do so
just in time before Sun-ju's proposed time of death ... and she survives.
But does that mean the curse of Eun-su and of the videotape are over ?
Nope, the next day at exactly the appointed time, Eun-su crawls out of
Choi's tv-set and kills him.
Sun-ju quickly realizes she hasn't lifted the curse by giving Eun-su a
decent burial, but by copying the video for Choi, because only if you copy
the video can the curse be lifted ... which is why she has to make her
little daughter copy the video too in order to keep her alive ...
I do not quite understand this.
In 1998, director Hideo Nakata made the immensely successful and very
creepy shocker Ringu, a relatively
loose adaptation of Koji Suzuki's rather mediocre horror novel. Only one
year later, director/screenwriter Kim Dong-bin has obviously decided to
remake this film that has almost instantly become a horror classic. In
this respect it is important to say that Kim Dong-bin did not offer an
alternative adaptation of the book, he stayed much closer to the plot of
the film than its source novel to begin with (he did however include some
of the books more bizarre and unnecessary details that Hideo Nakata wiself
left out, like Eun-su/Sadako being a hermaphrodite). Why Kim Dong-bin went
through all the trouble remains at anyone's guess, his version of the
story is far inferior to the original, totally lacking atmosphere and
tension, making whole sequences boring that were nervewreckingly
suspenseful in Ringu, and totally
lacking the inventiveness of Hideo Nakata's film.
An utterly boring remake.
A few years later, in 2002, director Gore Verbinski made another remake
of Ringu in Hollywood, with similar
results (which was to be expected from a Hollywood film though) ...