Yes, your read my heading right (my opinion, of course)
This movie, more than any other (and I've watched MANY horror movies in my lifetime - more than what was probably good for me) has affected me like no other.
It's not for everyone and I don't think everybody will like it - it's very slow to get going and generally has a slow pace (like almost all of the director's movies) but it is incredibly disturbing and severely frightening once it grabs hold of you.
I think the main character's face-to-face (literally) with the Grim Reaper near the end is one of the most bowel-loosening and terrifying scenes I've seen in a movie.
It's quite a philosophical movie, dealing with isolation, depression and the inevitability of death. Cheery stuff, to be sure.
We are all alone, this movie posits, and cut off from everyone else and true communication is severely limited. We can never make anyone else understand how we really feel. Language is inadequate - we are all horribly, eternally alone. Ironically, even more so in these Internet-obsessed, technologically advanced age.
I could not get this movie out of my head for days afterward and it still haunts me to this day. Yes, it has some Ringu elements (long-haired spectres ahoy!) but it uses these tropes in its own and original way.
There are absolutely mind-blowing set-pieces everywhere (the first foray into a red-taped room - brrrrr -, the dancing spectre in the arcade, the seated, hooded figure on the computer screen and of course the tÍtÍ-a-tÍtÍ with Death himself.)
Give this movie a chance and you might love it like I do.
Just be sure to take your anti-depressants first. Cheery stuff this is not. Oh, and check out the director's other stuff of you liked this - Cure is especially brilliant and unforgettable too.