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3.9 out of 5 stars
18
Phone [DVD] [2002]
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on 21 May 2017
A good effort. Some genuinely suspenseful moments borrowed from more successful films of the same genre. Entertaining.
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on 7 April 2017
Very good condition.very satisfactory
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on 9 February 2008
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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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2007
From South Korean director Ahn Byeong-ki comes this shockingly imaginative and quite fearsome horror flick that borrows elements from the Japanese horror classic Ringu but never abuses it like other rip-offs!

Young journalist Ji-won has exposed an underage sex scandal and is told by her editor Ho-jeong to keep a low profile until the men implicated can be tried. Then Ji-won begins to receive mysterious and disturbing phone calls (after purchasing a new cell-phone) in which one of these calls is answered by the editor's daughter, Yeong-ju, who begins to act strangely afterwards... As the phone calls continue, Ji-won must decipher them before something terrible happens...whilst also dodging a creepy stalker!!

Ha Ji-won plays the main character with authenticity and style while she's wonderfully backed up with excellent direction from Byeong-ki, the creepy premise that makes its own in the K-horror genre and her supporting cast are intense, especially Eun Seo-woo (the editor's daughter) who switches from incredibly cute to chillingly evil with such power that you're easily convinced.

If you're a lover of K-horrors or horrors in general then you should definitely pick this up, otherwise move along!!!
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on 21 November 2011
'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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on 25 February 2005
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 September 2016
In this 2002 supernatural horror [subtitled in English], journalist Ji-won changes her mobile number after receiving threatening calls after writing a series of articles about an underage sex ring that’s about to go to trial. When her friends daughter Young-ju answers a call on the mobile phone, the girl screams and begins to show a disturbing behaviour. After investigating her new phone number, Ji-won discovers it had belonged to a girl who vanished and that the two other owners of the number had died mysteriously in unusual circumstances. Is she next or is there more to it?
Fans of early ‘noughties’ Asian and Far Eastern movies will recognise many of the film techniques used here, but
The disc offers play, scene selection, set up [2.0, 5.1 default, DTS, English subtitles on/off] and extras [interviews, making of, deleted scenes, scene commentary, epilogue, tv spot, theatrical trailer and Asia extreme trailers]. Rated 15 this contains some relatively mild swearing, no sex or nudity, but does have some adult themes and some disturbing imagery. Much of the film is intense with a few jump out of the seat moments and some decent plot twists. If you liked the ‘Grudge’, ’Dark Water’ or ‘Ringu’ then this will probably appeal. Be warned, this does have flashing lights throughout the introduction.
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on 24 October 2006
It's a very good movie.
When I started watching it I would never have guessed the ending.
What captivated me most was the acting skills of the little girl. What a nasty brat!!!
This is a must have if you are collecting Asian horror movies.
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on 3 March 2009
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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VINE VOICEon 6 January 2006
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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