Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ha Ji-won, Kim Yu-mi, Choi Woo-jae, Eun Seo-woo
Director: Ahn Byung-Ki
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror
Following hot on the heels of top-selling Asian chillers such as Ring, Dark Water and Ju-on comes a stylish and terrifying ghost story to top them all. An investigative reporter, Ji-won, has recently published a controvers... more »
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"Take my call if you love me"
bonsai chicken | United States | 03/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PHONE concerns a young investigative journalist named Ji-Won, who begins to receive menacing calls on her mobile phone. Suspecting it is one of the men she recently wrote an exposé on, she has her number changed, but what she hears when her phone rings next is even more disturbing. After her best friend's daughter accidentally receives one of the calls, the girl begins behaving erratically. The only clue Ji-Won has to go on is the phone number that keeps appearing on her laptop, so she begins to look into the people who had her number previously, and what she finds is interesting indeed.
I'll be the first to admit that the premise of a supernatural force utilizing a cellular phone seemed hokey, but as the story progresses, the device is shown to not be a contrivance at all. Even if this weren't the case, I'd still rate the movie highly. It's simply a very effective scary movie, especially during the first half. It won't get under your skin and haunt you like 'A Tale of Two Sisters,' but it should satisfy while viewing. It's also a beautiful movie in all respects. Ignore the clunky title and check it out.
The DVD is of very high quality with many extras including trailers, and cast interviews, including one with the little girl from the movie, who is very funny. There are two deleted scenes, and the little girl gives hilarious commentary on selected scenes (prompted by an interviewer.) There is also a lot of behind the scenes footage. A nice package for a fairly obscure movie, one that puts many major studio home video releases to shame."
Girl, ya gotta get call diplay!
Matthew King | Toronto, Canada | 02/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Koreans have been big players in the Asian horror boom of the last few years, producing acclaimed genre fare such as "Ring Virus", "A tale of two sisters" and the sadistic revenge thriller "Oldboy" among others. One of the more successful was the 2002 Korean box office smash "Phone" just now released in America through TLA Entertainment Group. No doubt "Phone" owes part of its success to the splash that Ringu made on the international horror scene. However, knocking off "Phone" as a Ringu ripoff would be a mistake. This is an excellent film in its own right.
Ji-Won, a successful journalist, is being stalked. Her revealing sex-scandal articles have made her quite a few enemies lately including a creep who keeps phoning her cell and following her around so she changes her phone number and accepts her friend's offer of a retreat into a secluded country cabin. But even with new digs and a new phone number, Ji-Won is still getting creepy calls. Even worse, she finds out that the last 3 people who were registered under the same phone# have died mysterious deaths...
"Phone" wastes no time getting started. The initial elevator scene is a real chiller as are the initial stalker calls that Ji-Won receives. Barely 20 minutes into it and this one is a full-blown creepfest. The incessant ringing is a clever way to scare the viewer; the first few had me on edge but after a half dozen rings and a bunch of Red Herrings later my nerves were pretty well fried. At this point, however effective it may be in scaring us, "Phone" does feel derivative of Ringu. But halfway through the movie the plot takes a very interesting turn of events, involving a complex backstory of the events surrounding the birth of creepy kid Yeong-ju and a hidden affair between one of the main characters and a schoolgirl who may or may not be a vengeful ghost, all the while as Ji-Won tries to uncover the mysteries surrounding the deaths of the previous owners of the same phone #. Got all that? I know "Phone" seems routine on the surface when you haven't seen the movie, but trust me it is anything but.
As in "Ju-On The Grudge" these backstories are told in a non-linear style that keeps us wondering what is a dream and what's not? Is this in the past or in the future? It's all rather confusing in parts but this is what makes "Phone" even better upon repeat viewings. This is yet another fine addition in the cannon of mind-blowing Asian horror films to come out in recent years. Oh, one more thing. Why not just chuck the darn phone or let it ring? Doesn't make much sense but then again we ARE living in the 21st century. People have become way too attached to the ghastly things...
Be careful before reading other reviews.
layla | 07/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I looked through the reviews below and many of them are chock full of spoilers. Perhaps it's best that you just watch this movie without finding anything out about it first as it's the sort of movie that is far more enjoyable if you go in without knowing too much about it.
As for my commentary, this is not really a horror, but more like a mystery and dark drama involving a ghost. It's not really scary, and I don't think it's really meant to be. It has a very mysterious style, but the plot is what this is about.
If you thought the plot of The Ring was great, but don't need the horror aspect so much, then you will love this one. It's a very similar style, in which a person must investigate the ghost that haunts her and the plot turns in many directions as it unfolds to gradually explain the meaning of the haunting. I thought this movie was absolutely brilliant, but if you go in just looking for a good scare, you'll be disappointed."
Ghostly Revenge By Way Of The Cellphone
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 10/24/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Directed by Byeong-ki Ahn, the film "Phone" boasts the usual beautiful cinematography one now expects from Korean horror, thriller and suspense films. Many viewers pointed out that this film reminded them of the Japanese film "RINGU." However, as for myself, the film reminded me a lot of the horror films ONE MISSED CALL, and ONE MISSED CALL 2. [The former being directed by Takashi Miike]. What this film lacked, that these two other films had, in my opinion, was a good story, creepy scenes, and a lot more scare factor. This film may appeal to some viewers, as witnessed by the number of those who liked it. However, the film has a few sub-plots going along with the narrative that make this film a bit disjointed.
The film centers on a woman reporter named Ji-won (Ji-won Ha). Ji-won has just exposed a sex ring of several men with underage girls. As a result, this has put her life in jeopardy. She is constantly being harassed through her cellphone with death threats. Furthermore, she is being pursued by one of these men. Therefore, for her protection, Ji-won decides to take up an offer to stay at the Bangbae house of her friends, which is still being renovated by her friends husband, Chang-hoon (Woo-jae Choi). Her friend Ho-jeong (Yu-mi Kim) does not think that the house is suitable, and tries to dissuade Ji-won in a polite way. Yet, with the upcoming trial ahead of her, and for her protection, she takes Chang-hoon up on his offer. There is something ominous in this new house, and I do not wish to give this away.
Moreover, there is something wrong with the young daughter of her friends. Young-ju (Seo-woo Eun) answers Ji-won's cellphone while at an art exhibit, and afterwards begins exhibiting bizarre behavior. The child becomes more attached to her father, and more distant from the mother. Why? What is the cause of this young child's behavior that has changed drastically since she listened in on the cellphone? Plus, something strange is happening in the house Ji-won is now living at. Not only does Ji-won still receive strange phone calls, but she also receives eerie pictures on her laptop computer. Determined to discover what is happening, Ji-won becomes convinced that she and the young child are in danger from a ghost. The film is predictable, and for the most part boring. If you must see the film, rent it first. I did not think this was a particularly good horror film. And what few horror scenes the viewer is witness to is not enough to salvage this film. I recommend viewers rent the film first. [Stars: 2.5]"