This is what you call a decent 'horror' film. It does not rely on endless gore and a high body count in order to 'scare'. Instead, it relies on suspense, striking visual imagery and an airtight script to have viewers on the edge of their seat.
If gore's your bag, skip this, because it has none. Rather, it follows the story of a young journalist who, after the death of a young woman who watched a suspect video tape, begins to investigate the tape's origins. What she discovers is both unnerving and creepy.
This film's strong point is it's visual imagery, most notably in the tape itself, which is both weird and unpleasant. The plot ticks over nicely, providing just enough suspense to keep the viewer's interest piqued. The script is also strong, and it is very telling that this is the highest grossing Japanese horror film ever. It has also found global success, adding a much-deserved boom to the Japanese horror film industry, along with the equally sinister 'Grudge' and 'Audition', plus many other far more violent flicks.
This film is superbly directed, and the acting is also of a very high calibre, convincing and strong. The plot itself is very original, if a little far-fetched, but then, this is the horror genre, so it shouldn't make perfect sense anyway!
Please don't confuse this with the vastly inferior American remake, which massacres the original script and deviates wildly from the plot. Subtle Japanese film-making should not be tampered with by money-grabbing Western film-makers who have absolutely no artistic integrity whatsoever.
To conclude, this is an imaginative, frequently gripping and well directed horror, with an intelligent, thoughtful streak running right through it. It is well worth a few hours of your time!