"In my opinion, I liked this more than the Hideo Nakata's original."
- Mighty Peking Man
AKA: Ring: Virus
Director: Kim Dong-Bin
Writer: Kim Dong-bin (based on the novel "Ring" by Koji Suzuki)
Cast: Shin Eun-Kyung, Jeong Jin-Young, Bae Doo-Na, Kim Chang-Wan
Running Time: 110 min.
Plot: A female journalist is forced to leave her normal life behind when she discovers the truth behind her niece's death. She then embarks on a terrifying investigation in a frenzied race against the clock to solve a diabolical puzzle before it's too late.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: In 1998 Hideo Nakata made "Ring", a low-budget horror film based on the novel of the same name by Koji Suzuki. When "Ring" came out in theatres, it's impact around Asia was so huge that it spawned some sequels, a prequel and even a Hollywood remake.
This brings us to Kim Dong-Bin's "Ring Virus", the Korean version/remake of Koji Suzuki's novel ("Ring Virus" is the first-ever joint production between Korea and Japan, with each side footing 50% of the production costs.).
Even though it had a tad of 'jump-out-of-your-seat' moments, most of it's horrific matter comes from what's unknown, than what's seen. What else is there to say without spoiling the film for you? Why don't I just say that this (and obviously the original) is one of the most innovative horror films I've seen in a long time. Forget about the horror genre's typical use of blood and other slasher elements. None of that here - this shit is 100% pure with a legitimate backstory that constructs the gist of the plot perfectly.
I thought the direction and production were pretty standard. The lead actress, Shin Eun-Kyung ("My Wife is s Gangster"), shines and the same can be said for the rest of the cast. Jeong Jin-Young, the neurosurgeon who teams up with the lead reporter has some classic one-liners that made me snicker no matter how dark the tension was.
In my opinion, I liked this more than the Hideo Nakata's original. This may be an invalid opinion since I watched "Ring Virus" first, but it's apparent that "Ring Virus" was more intense, had better performances and was a lot more slick. It also carried itself better and told the overall story in a more clear way. I'm not even gonna mention the better soundtrack (even though I just did...). I guess "more" is the key word here.
One thing is certain, all of the "Ring" movies were very exaggerated when it came to the hype over it's creepiness. The truth is, I've seen creepier films than this. Chang Youn-hyun's "Tell Me Something", Pang Brothers' "The Eye", and even Ringo Lam's "Victim" creeped up on me more.
Some of the technical facts used in this review were taken from "Ringworld", a kick-ass site that goes into great detail about every remake, sequel and anything else that revolves around the "Ring" films. Be sure to check it out.
Damn, what a half-assed review.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S RATING: 7/10