Phone

"OK"

Phone Review


It's hard to underestimate what Ringu did to the Asian horror market. Today, dozens of knockoffs can be found on import video shelves, American remakes are legion, and more of these foreign flicks are finding their way into broad DVD release on our shores.

Phone is as close a knockoff to Ringu that I've seen to date. There's no videotape, but -- of course -- there's a phone. Only this one doesn't make you die. It makes you go insane.

Here's the rub: Our Korean heroine is a journalist (just like in Ringu), and after an especially heated series of stories, she starts getting terrorizing phone calls. She changes her number and even moves to the country, but nothing stops the calls. Eventually a friend's daughter answers her phone and in short order she's gone completely nuts.

Unfortunately, that's just a small part of the setup -- there's also a psychotic murderer after our heroine (the phone gets him too) and later a ghost of sorts that can't be killed. What's unclear isn't just what these three or four different stories are doing in the same movie, what's really odd is what a cell phone is supposed to be doing connecting the dots. Director Byeong-ki Ahn (his other films are Scissors and Ouija Board, use your imagination as to the key prop in each) gets as derivative as possible along the way, with ghostly shadows and reflections that quickly vanish as well as that now tired device: the possessed child.

None of this is particularly scary, though the finale sequence is suitably creepy. The main problem, I guess, is that if you call your film Phone don't expect anyone to jump when it rings.

The DVD includes deleted scenes, interviews, a commentary track, and more.



Phone

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th July 2002

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: Ha Ji-Won as Ji-won, as Ho-jeong, as Chang-hoon, as Jin-hie, as Yeong-ju, Choi Jeong-yun as Woman in elevator

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