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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Strong Korean Horror
'Phone' is a must-see addition to your East Asian Horror Collection.

As we know, countless films claim to be up there with 'Ju-on' and 'The Ring', but very few get anywhere close. Much the same as it's become to popular to liken films to 'Saw' or 'Hostel' when a certain intention is promoted. I'm pleased to say that 'Phone', whilst not quite being a classic,...
Published on 21 Nov 2011 by The Dandy Highwayman

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Familiar fright fare
A typical horror film, albeit done with skill. The first half is pretty much just a sequence of fright scenes. Then it switches to a psychological story with supernatural elements which I found much more interesting. The finale, however, is predictable and not very scary.

The lovely Ha Ji Won is the star and she's joined by some beautiful actresses that are...
Published on 3 Mar 2009 by J. A. Eyon


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Strong Korean Horror, 21 Nov 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
'Phone' is a must-see addition to your East Asian Horror Collection.

As we know, countless films claim to be up there with 'Ju-on' and 'The Ring', but very few get anywhere close. Much the same as it's become to popular to liken films to 'Saw' or 'Hostel' when a certain intention is promoted. I'm pleased to say that 'Phone', whilst not quite being a classic, is very good indeed.

Firstly, what a performance by Eun See Woo, the child actor who plays 'Yeong-Ju'. This is a standout performance which is up there with 'The Exorcist' and 'Polterguist' for the brillance of their young actor's talents. Similarly, Ha Ji-Won is excellent as 'Ji-Won', the 'main' character around whom the mysterious phone calls centre.

There's nothing more scary than something 'real' and the way an everyday object (a mobile phone) is used to create the terror is very clever. By the end that ring tone sends shivers down the spine!

I like the story too, in that it actually is a story! On occasions, Asian Horror can be to clever for it's own good, but 'Phone' is a neat little yarn which knits itself together nicely. There's some genuine scares along the way and generally there's more than enough to keep the interst gripped.

The climax is very good too and whilst I won't spoil the details, the last half an hour or so doesn't quite go as you expect it to (well,it didn't for me anyway).

Everything is 'just right' with 'Phone' and as with many Korean Horror movies before and subsequent; it's an all round solid film, with very little to fault.

Would happily recommend.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must -see Korean vengeful spirit tale, 8 Jan 2007
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I love asian horror like this, it tends to prey on your nerves rather than try to shock you with explicit gore.

The story begins with Ji-won, who has published sex scandal articles and begins receiving threatening phone calls from a stranger who is following her. To put a stop to this, Ji-won moves house, changes her mobile phone number and then, unfortunately, her problems really begin.

When Ji-won's niece Young-ju (played by an adorable little girl who is obviously enjoying herself immensely and completely shows up all the adult actors) answers her aunt's phone in an art gallery, it sets off a chain of increasingly alarming events surrounding Young-ju which forces Ji-won to investigate further - is it really the men she has exposed who are threatening her or is something more sinister at work? No prizes for guessing!

Ji-won's investigations into her new, seemingly haunted phone number lead her to two deaths and a missing teenager, the missing girl's terrified friend and the unravelling of a mystery which leads her to a shocking conclusion.

This film features an extremely spiteful, vengeful spirit (hell hath no fury..) you find it hard to sympathise with until the end of the film. To say any more would spoil a good plot, this film in my opinion ranks with the likes of Ringu, a Tale of Two Sisters, Dark Water, etc. If you are familiar with these titles, you won't be disappointed.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect something different, 14 Mar 2005
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Upon reading reviews on here, I was expecting another awesome "Ju-On" style horror that would proper scare the pants off me. "Phone" is a completely different entity.
One film I could compare it to is "The Eye", not that the stories are similar, but how the movies build up are very identical. Both start as sort of spooky ghost stories, then the second half of the film you are getting stuck into trying to figure it all out.
There are a couple of scenes to make you jump, but overall I felt this film was more of a whodunnit than all out horror. But thats not a criticism, this is an excellent film.
Many Hollywood murder mysteries are pretty much solved in the first half hour, or it turns out to be some irrelevant character who has had about 2 mins on screen time until the finale. With "Phone" as the film progresses you get more clues to the mystery, but its not until the end that you findout who and why, which for me is what makes a great thriller.
Maybe the spiritual theme and the success of other Asian Horrors was a good excuse to market it that way, but for me anyone with a love of intense, engaging movies should watch this film its just great. Even my mum sat there with my sister and me and was trying to figure it out, and she hates mainstream horror movies.
Watch this film and then watch it again, and again and pick up on little bits you missed the first time, all I will say though for horror fans expecting another "Ring" or "Ju-on", your expectations should be more along the lines of "se7en" or "saw"
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Hitchcock than horror.., 6 Jan 2006
By 
KalteStern (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This starts off on what seems almost familiar 'Asian Horror' lines, making you think that it is going to develop into another 'Ring ', and in its first section it manages to be quite creepy, if hardly anything new for anyone who has already seen the more well known examples of this kind of thing. But it then veers off into something quite different in plot terms, more of a murder mystery/thriller. I quite liked this, because you don't then know what to expect, which is hardly true of most ghost/horror genre pieces even when they succeed in startling the viewer. A well made movie, and very enjoyable in its own terms, as long as you don't expect a slasher pic or what is now becoming the perceived 'conventional' eastern horror approach.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Familiar fright fare, 3 Mar 2009
By 
J. A. Eyon "Little Raven" (Seattle - USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
A typical horror film, albeit done with skill. The first half is pretty much just a sequence of fright scenes. Then it switches to a psychological story with supernatural elements which I found much more interesting. The finale, however, is predictable and not very scary.

The lovely Ha Ji Won is the star and she's joined by some beautiful actresses that are equally put upon. But it's gonna be 5-year-old Eun Seo-woo who's gonna make the deepest impression on you. I promise. She has about a dozen scenes scattered thru out the movie with her stunningly acted climactic scene coming shortly before the film's climax. I'll bet she'll amaze you even if the story or the other actors don't.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate!, 25 Feb 2005
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I can't recommend enough all the movies from Tartan and Asia Extreme: Ring Trilogy; Phone; Tale of Two Sisters; Audition; Grudge; The Eye; Dark Water....
I too am a huge fan of horror but absolutely NO-ONE does horror like these guys. Their movies are truly frightening and so well crafted. The storylines are deep, complex and enthrawling. I have never failed to be stunned by the quality of the acting, SFX, plot-lines and direction. Movies from these stables beat Western efforts hands down. These guys clearly love what they do and put great dedication into producing these movies. One of the main things that contributes to each movie's impact, is that often the storyline is based on a collection of actual events, or based on Japanese folk-lore and superstition.
You will see common threads with Phone if you're are faimiliar with Dark Water, Ring and Grudge: namely the long black hair, staring eyes, deathly white skin, ghosts emerging from the most unexpected of places, spooky evelavator encounters, matted hair coming out of taps and hunched dark figures on the stairs. Oddly, this simplistic way of depicting the ghosts is far more effective than any of the CGI efforts so casually used these days. I have a strong disposition with horror movies and can sit through the goriest offering without being actually spooked. These movies always hit a nerve and I have never since shuffled under my duvet with as great hesitation nor run a bath with such great trepidation!
I had not heard of "Phone" until I spotted it in my local store. Being a fan of the other movies listed above, I bought it in good faith and wasn't let down.
I daren't say anything about the plot as the twists and turns are crucial to your enjoyment.
Suffice it to say that if you have limited space on your shelf for horror DVDs, fill it with Asia Extreme and Tartan Video offerings: they will simply NEVER be equalled.
Oh, and don't what this one alone!
If you love this, definitely catch "The Eye", "Dark Water" and "The Tale of Two Sisters". If you haven't seen Grudge or Ring yet, make sure you do!
Oh, and lastly - a message to Hollywood: Please don't re-make this one, you'll only embarrass yourself!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Phone, 25 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
If you've seen a few of the Asian horror films from Ring etc, this isn't exactly original, ghosts, vengeful spirits yadda yadda, but it's a lot of fun, genuinely spooky and the little girl in this film is amasing! What a fantastic little actress. Move over Dakota Fanning.
Some of it is predictable, some of it confusing, the review at the top of the list ruins the story slightly as none of what was mentioned is dealt with until the end of the film.
Worth a look, a rental, not a buy
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Phone goes Ring, 29 April 2005
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
First off I have to say that I am a huge fan of Far Eastern cinema and in particular far Eastern Horror. Another reviewer mentioned The Eye, Dark Water and A Tale of Two Sisters and I echo those comments, they are excellent films, forget that they are horror films, they are just great movies. A Tale of Two Sisters in particular is a must see. So where does Phone fit in...well I didn't feel it was as good as some of the others I have seen. It looks great and has some good performances and interesting ideas, and maybe if you have not seen any far eastern horrors this will have enough new ideas to keep you watching but having seen Ringu and it's sequels and The Grudge and those mentioned above I felt this film was nothing original. The plot, while intersting enough does not inspire like some of the other titles mentioned and it felt somewhat anticlimatic.
By all means watch this film, it will entertain but the bar has been set so high by far eastern movie makers that this does not stand out.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over-hyped Tat!, 28 Aug 2005
By 
M. Magowan "spudmeister" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I bought this film as an impulse buy, wanting to increase my collection of Asian cinema. After browsing for a while, I settled on Phone. I'd heard of it and it looked quite good. I regretted this decision within a day!
First of all, the story is awful. As well as being an unoriginal, cut-and-paste "vengeful spirit" story, it's poorly constructed and most of it either confuses you or is completely pointless. The story jumps between the present and the past so often and with so little warning that it's difficult to tell where you are.
Also, most of the films "twists" are far too predictable, you can see them coming from a mile away. Although I will admit that the film's main twist is unexpected and actually quite surprising.
As well as that, the acting is sub-par at best. As a whole it consists mainly of over the top screams and forced expressions of terror. The only real exception to this is the possessed girl, who does a good job of being very, very creepy. Other than this though, the film barely makes it into the horror category. Aside from a few mildly jumpy bits, there's nothing that will really scare you.
All in all, you have a film that you should think hard about before parting with your hard earned cash. If you want a good Japanese horror film, go for "Ring" or "Dark Water". If you already own these, then your collection doesn't need "Phone".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the most frightening movie I have seen, 9 Feb 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Phone [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This story starts off with a reporter Ji-won, who has published a story about sex scandals, she then starts to receive threatening phone calls from a stranger who is following her.
To try to put a stop to this, Ji-won moves into her sisters house and changes her changes her mobile phone number, however the calls still continue to arrive.
When she, her sister and her little niece Young-ju visit an art gallery, Young-ju answers Ji-won's phone to hear a high pitched screaming. Ji-won and her sister try to pull the phone off Young-ju and Young-ju collapses in terror. This call seems to start off a series of weird ghostly happenings mostly centred on Young-ju, which Ji-won is not sure if this is tied in with the stalker or not. Ji-won investigates further and eventually uncovers a story of unrequited love and revenge which threatens the lives of all around her.
I don't feel that the sex scandal story and the ghost story seem to bear any relation with each other in this movie. I can only presume that the sex scandal threats against Ji-won are used as an explanation for her to move into the haunted house. The sex scandal story seems to be dropped in favour of the ghost story, but suddenly pops back into storyline for no reason very briefly half way through, then disappears again.
The story seems very disjointed, jumping into flashbacks but giving no clue as to when it is going to, therefore you think you are watching present day, then suddenly realise that the story has changed to some months before. The storyline is difficult to follow, a bit of a who dunnit, but you do manage to start to unravel it all by the end of the movie.
The best actor by far is the little girl, adorably cute!! She manages to switch from giggly little girl to extreme evil instantly! The rest of the cast seemed a bit emotionless and I was not able to empathise with the storyline, therefore it lost a bit of the tension and scariness for me.
It was a bit disappointing that more was not made of some potentially very scary scenes and perhaps more could have been made of the similarities in the the characteristics that Young-ju started to exhibit and that of the ghost. If you are looking for a truly scary movie along the lines of the Grudge or Ring, you will not find it here, this is more like a sad love story/ghost mystery. If you love asian horror, then you will probably enjoy this but otherwise I am sure there are plenty of other scarier movies than this one.
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Phone [DVD] [2002]
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