The Ring Virus (South Korea 1999)

Rating: ****
Review Date: 8/5/01
Cast: Eun Kyung Shin, Jin Young Jung

Wow, what a genuinely creepy film. This is a Korean remake of a popular Japanese film called "The Ring" (1998) which was based on a series of Japanese horror novels that were written in 1995. Four teenagers mysteriously die at the exact same time and in the same way. Officials claim that the deaths were all heart attacks, but one eccentric doctor believes that something supernatural scared them to death. A beautiful and intelligent journalist named Sun-Joo (pretty Eun Kyung Shin) starts looking into the case and discovers a video tape that the four teenagers had watched. Tempting fate, she watches the video, which is a bizarre collage of strange imagery along with the prophetic message "you will die in seven days." After sharing the tape with the eccentric doctor (who is now also cursed), the two of them begin a desperate search to find a way to break the curse. What they find out becomes more frightening with each new discovery.

"The Ring Virus" is a superbly made film. The writing, direction, and cinematography are excellent, and Eun Kyung Shin's performance is quite captivating. She's a wonderful combination of strength and beauty - a theme that lies at the core of the film. Background music is used sparingly, letting ambient noise and silence heighten the sense of dread and suspense. If you like intelligently written supernatural thrillers, then you should definitely check out this film. It still gives me chills...