Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Ring Virus (1999) Film Review
After watching the American remake of The Ring, this adaptation of the novel will seem simple structurally and less frightening. As a horror film, it is more serious than we English-speaking audiences are used to and, as such, The Ring Virus is a welcome change from the norm.
It opens with an ambiguous death sequence that we later learn was caused by a videotape. The video in The Ring Virus consists of only a few images and so we don't spend half the runtime trying to decipher what it all means, while feeling uneducated and under informed. Instead, we see all that journalist Sun-ju (Shin Eun-Kyung) sees, without any annoying flashbacks to the video, and the structure remains linear throughout. The simple nature of the storyline allows us to focus more on the psychological aspects and draws us closer to our main character, making the shock of the film's minimal horror sequences more exciting.
The tension of the seven day countdown is more prominent than in any of the other incarnations, due in no small part to the ambivalent nature of the background characters, who add both depth and humour to the proceedings.
Whilst we become attached to our protagonist, as we are exposed to the entirety of her ordeal, she is a very serious person. Although I have had my judgement impaired after years of watching Scream and Scary Movie films, she remains an unconventionally humourless heroine, whose attitude to life is contrasted starkly with the supporting cast. To enhance fear in its few horror moments, the director should have given us a lead character who doesn't treat everything with the utmost seriousness.
Combined with a choppy, digital home movie feel, The Ring Virus becomes less enjoyable than it could have been. It remains an entertaining, anxious film and one of the better Rings out there, but a missed opportunity nonetheless.Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2005