E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/26/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Believe it or not, Gore Verbinski's "The Ring" wasn't the first remake of the hit horror movie. A few years before that, a Korean remake of the original Japanese film was undertaken, but "Ring Virus" lacks a cohesive script, dramatic tension or semi-realistic characters.
Journalist Hong Sun-Ju (Eun-Kyung Shin) learns her young niece and her pals have died mysteriously -- the official report is that they all had heart attacks, but Sun-Ju notices that the girl was tearing out her hair. The one similarity is a videotape full of odd images, which Sun-Ju watches. At the end is a warning that she will die in seven days, if she doesn't follow the following instructions. Too bad some idiot taped over those instructions.
After what has happened to her niece, Sun-Ju is freaked out. She seeks the help of the quirky coroner Dr. Chin (Jin-yeong Jeong), who supports the curse theory of the videotape. The two of them explore the sinister past of a Korean island, a famous psychic, and the mysterious young girl Eun-suh (Du-na Bae) who is the key to the curse.
Yeah, it sounds pretty similar to both "Ringu" and "The Ring," and it does have the same basic plot. There are a few differences, like Sun-Ju having a daughter, but in essence it's the same plot. Except, of course, that the movie surrounding that plot is a stinker.
The thing that kills "Ring Virus" is director Dong-bin Kim. His direction is choppy and often lifts scenes from the far superior Hideo Nakata -- which basically means that comparisons are inevitable. He doesn't know how to make the movie creepy and tense, or to take advantage of the suspenseful moments, like the face hidden in Eun-suh's hair.
Eun-Kyung Shin does a passable job, but she seems too passive; Jin-yeong Jeong has a fun character, and he plays up the quirkiness well, but he sticks out like a sore thumb. Especially since his entire reason for being in the film (besides being a love interest) is to make wild leaps in logic, and telling the audience information that he can't possibly have figured out on his own.
The most disastrous character is Eun-suh, the ghoulgirl who made the curse in the first place. The entire plot essentially revolves around her scheming, evil personality. Turning her into a mopey teenager -- complete with flashbacks -- rather than someone who has become utterly evil essentially destroys the whole idea of the cursed videotape.
"Ring Virus" has one or two interesting things going for it, but the stumbling direction and terrible Eun-suh are enough to sink it. This is one virus that should be medicated away."
More like the book then the american/japanese versions.
Vecha Keason | Mobile, AL USA | 07/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you read the book Ring, Spiral, and Loop, you'd find out that the book was more of a detective and supernatural storyline, not exactly meant to scare the socks off you, but to pick at your mind...if you are used to actually having to think when you watch a movie.
This movie is not for those that are used to sitting in an american theater and be given everything that the directors/creators are trying to tell you...you actually have to think...just like when reading a novel...or when you were in school."
Korean Version Of The Ring
Kenneth Allen | 06/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent Korean Version of The Ring. It actually is closer to the book than the Japanese or American version. Very well done."