Dead Friend (2004) Poster

(2004)

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8/10
One of the Better Asian Horrors
Iok15 October 2005
"The Ghost" tells the story of Ji-Won, a young student suffering from amnesia. Ostracised by her former friends and haunted by strange visions, she begins to try to unravel the mystery of her past...

Despite what people may say, there's only most tenuous links to the classic "Ringu" and the not-quite-so-good "Dark Water." Look beyond the shared imagery (which is from classical Japanese/Asian mythology anyway and wasn't invented by Nakata) and judge this movie on its own merits and you'll find a very cleverly structured, disturbing and touching horror movie with a clever twist and some memorably creepy scenes.

A far superior movie to the overly praised "Dark Water" and right up there with "A Tale of Two Sisters" as Korea's premiere horror.
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7/10
Creepy, But With a Complex and Confused Twist
claudio_carvalho1 June 2007
The teenager Min Ji-won (Ha-Neul Kim) is suffering from amnesia and being haunted by weird visions. When she meets her former high school friend Oh Yu-jeong (Hie-ju Jeon), she receives a picture of her high school group of friends: Kim Eun-seo (Bin), who had recently died; Shin Mi-kyeong (Yi Shin), who is in the hospital and Eun-jeong (Yun-ji Lee). Ji-won questions who took the picture, and when she visits her former friends, she recalls Han Su-in (Sang-mi Nam), a girl that was badly treated and humiliated by their group, disclosing her past and the fate of Su-in and finding a scary hidden truth.

"The Ghost" is a creepy and scary movie, but like other Asian horror movies (for example, "The Tale of the Twin Sisters" or "Rinne"), has a complex, confused and intriguing twist in the end. My first difficulty was to associate the names of the characters performed by the gorgeous actresses with their faces. I repeated the first chapters three times to make this association. When Ji-won meets her mother in the end unraveling the mystery, I repeated three or four times to clarify the twist. If I were in the movie theater, I would not have the chance of rewinding and understanding the plot. But Asian horror movie is my favorite genre and I liked this film a lot, and I startled many times, especially with the scary atmosphere and the soundtrack. This is the type of movie that deserves to be watched at least two times. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
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7/10
The Ghost
Scarecrow-881 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
An amnesiac, Ji-won(Ha-Neul Kim, playing the character as vacant and lost as possible)troubled by a traumatic past which is slowly unraveling memories, begins to realize that a ghost, possibly of a high school girl, Su-in(Sang-mi Nam)is killing former friends who ridiculed this girl because of her low-income status. What Ji-won doesn't realize is that her "past self" was a nasty rich bitch who treated those less fortunate, from a financial standpoint, like dirt while her "rat pack" would join in on the festivities of name calling among other cruelties. Along with her boyfriend, Ji-won will indeed seek out the truth behind the deaths of her former friends and who is behind them. Soon, the complete mystery tucked away in her subconscious, will reveal a horrifying drowning that perhaps shapes what has been taking place to her former school chums. Each of Ji-won's high school friends die by drowning shortly after the ghost appears to them in a vulnerable state unable to find help from their menacing visitor.

As you've read throughout the user comment section already, "The Ghost" is stylishly directed and rather well acted. The film looks great and the cast doesn't disappoint. There are even a few scares here and there..but it's all rather familiar. The twist at the end saves this film, I believe, from completely feeling "been there done that." It's a mind-boggling doozy of an ending, I'll tell you, where someone isn't who they appear to be..it's the case of "identity crisis" where jealousy can drive the motivations of a cast-away so longing to have the life of the one they envy. It's the kind of twist that takes you right back through what you just have seen, putting a new light on the story and central character. The film is designed like "The Grudge" as a spook film, so there isn't any graphic violence, the emphasis is on creeping the audience, not blood-letting. The ghost, as can probably be pictured in the minds of those who have seen numerous Asian horror flicks, is a girl with long black hair which splits to reveal this discolored eyeball that peers at a potential victim. When her hands reach out, and her feet walk across the floor, water is shown soaking off, foretelling to the viewer this restless spirit's fate. I felt the director skillfully crafts the story, supplying the memories of a past conveying to us just the kind of loathsome person Ji-won was, and how Si-un was treated by her. This back-story is supplemented as the story comes to the obvious confrontation between Ji-won and the ghost. I think one can rightfully criticize how similar this film feels to others that have came before it, but at least we get a back story into their lives and what motivates the horrors to those who kept a specific secret one fateful day.
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8/10
Creepy,but unoriginal South Korean horror.
HumanoidOfFlesh18 July 2005
A young female college student Ji-won who has recovered from a serious accident,which led her to have amnesia.As she attempts to put her past together and get her current life straightened out,she slowly comes to realize that those she associated with in high school are now turning up dead and all are keyed to water.As fragments of her memories and the people she knew come together,she experiences weird visions of a girl drowning and what she thinks is a ghost following her around.Could there be a connection?"Dead Friend" is obviously inspired by Hideo Nakata's "Ringu" and "Dark Water",but it certainly offers some genuine scares.The most terrifying moments in "Dead Friend" come from the appearance of a ghostly girl with drenched hair and one evil eye looking out from the mass of hair.The climax is extremely creepy and surprising,so I was pleased.The cinematography is gorgeous with a lovely green look and the sound effects are awesome.Watch "Dead Friend" alone in the dark and it will creep you out.8 out of 10.
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7/10
I Really liked this movie
atinder8 August 2009
The story Min Ji-won is suffering from amnesia and being haunted by weird visions.

When she meets her former high school friend Oh Yu, she receives a picture of her high school group of friends: Kim who had recently died.

Anyone who likes Asian Horror movies, Will love this movie, I for one did, yes this movie as another dead girl with long black hair, killing off people, it not gory but it still very creepy.

This movie had the perfect story and there really good creepy scene that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I Give this 7/10

I didn't think I would ever say this, I enjoyed this more then I enjoyed Ringu.
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7/10
A good ghost story that will keep you guessing
veggiehed7 October 2006
A good Korean horror with a number of surprising twists and turns. Unlike some of the corny ghost movies you may have seen before, this one takes "ghosts" up a step. I don't want to spoil the movie for you because it's worth watching but I'll briefly explain it. Its about a girl called Ji-Won who for some reason has suffered from amnesia (you will find out why later in the film.) She finds out three people she somehow knows are being killed off by an unforgiving ghost. But you will have to carefully watch any flashbacks that are shown during the movieto fully understand it. Expect to have to watch it twice. An unraveling ghost story involving sadness, jealousy and revenge. If you liked The Ring and The Grudge then you will probably like this.
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5/10
It's all been done before.
massaster76015 May 2007
Tartan's new release of Ryeong, A.k.a. The Ghost is not one of their better releases. In fact, I found The Ghost to be one of the worst Asian ghost stories I've seen in awhile. This is not to say that Ghost is necessarily a bad film, it just doesn't offer anything new to jaded horror viewers, and seems like a hodge-podge of several prior successful Asian horror films, Chiefly, The Ring, Ju-On, Shutter, and Dark Water.

The Ghost tells the story of Ji-Won, a young student who is afflicted with amnesia. She is completely unaware of her prior life, including an incident which sets up the haunting of Ji-Won by a long-haired ghost girl. As her friends start to die off, she decides to investigate the event that led to the deaths of her friends. Peeling back the layers of her subconscious, she slowly unravels clues to her past, which inevitably lead to a giant plot-twist, which I saw coming at about 20 minutes into the film.

If it sounds like something you've seen before, that's because it is. The Ghost adds nothing new to the K-Horror genre and heavily borrows (Or steals) from past K and J-Horror successes. In fact, even some of the score was lifted from The Shutter (not to mention the plot)! The sad thing is that the film isn't all that bad. The Ghost is somewhat creepy, there are some decent scares, the pacing is good, and the story is decent. But to those of us familiar with Asia Horror, it's just more of the same. If The Ghost had been made before such films as The Ring or Dark Water, it would probably be regarded as a great entry into the K-Horror genre. Alas, it was made after, and offers nothing new, but retreads of familiar territory.

If your a fan of K-Horror and are looking for something to pass time until the next great Horror flick comes out, or if you like to collect K-Horror than check it out. If your the occasional Asian horror flick viewer, save your time. You've seen it all before.

My Rating 4.5 out of 10. The Ghost delivers nothing that I hadn't seen before. It's predictable, and forgettable.
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5/10
Korean ghost movie brings nothing new to the table
LoneWolfAndCub4 January 2008
I had high expectations going into this. I love ghost stories and I love Asian horror. After recently seeing A Tale of Two Sisters (another Korean ghost/horror movie) and loving it I thought this would be scary, intelligent and original. However, this was far from original, in fact, it was a mix-up of Ju-On: The Grudge and Dark Water. The ghost looked like a mixture of Sadako from (Ring) and Kayako (Ju-On) and the water element has been used before in Ring and Dark Water. The director does manage to conjure up some atmosphere and an interesting enough story to keep the movie going but it's not enough to disguise the many stolen elements (and scenes!) The acting wasn't anything spectacular and the score sounded very familiar to The Grudge's. The ending was a surprise, and a good one at that. It caught me unaware and it did make me think a bit after. Overall it seems the good and the bad outweighed each other and the movie for me was just average. Atmospheric and interesting enough to keep me watching but too unoriginal for my liking.

2½/5
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7/10
Not bad for Korean horror but nothing new
tenderluvher18 August 2005
As far as Korean horror goes, it's not too bad, better than most out there. I only rate it behind A Tale of Two Sisters, which was more original with better cinematography and more defined characters. ATOTS was more a horror/suspensethriller though, while Ryeong is definitely dealing with the supernatural idea. Don't expect to be scared sh_tless or anything though. There's nothing really new here. A definite Ring rip with a little bit of Dark Water mixed in. Movie producers must really move beyond the long hair covering face wet female ghost idea. It's getting pretty played out. Seen one, seen them all. The production is good though with a story that's somewhat intriguing, keeping you guessing about what's going on until the finale. The end I was actually little surprised but the idea has been used before, an influence I believe from ATOTS and such where there's the revelation. Overall worth watching but it won't leave you sleeping with the lights on.
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7/10
Ring Around the Ripoff
kane-315 June 2005
DEAD FRIEND is yet another Asian ghost story featuring the now clichéd long-black-haired-dead-girl-out-for-revenge. There is absolutely nothing new here in terms of plot or even character; if you've seen THE RING, TOMIE, PHONE or any of the other countless Asian imports than you've already seen DEAD FRIEND and plot breakdown would be as redundant as this film itself.

While the movie's plot and structure lack in originality, DEAD FRIEND betters many of its' contemporaries by showcasing some solid acting and beautiful cinematography.

If you're addicted to these ghost/revenge films as most of us are to the equally uninspiring slasher genre than DEAD FRIEND is worth a viewing strictly to add another notch in your belt.
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8/10
Entertainingly Original and Frequently Scary, Despite Being Riddled with Overused Genre Tropes
totalovrdose20 February 2015
Everyone is certainly aware of the Japanese Ringu series, one of the first few Asian movies that made audiences terrified of women whose hair was longer than shoulder length. Although South Korea is responsible for making films that continue this particular genre trope, Dead Friend, otherwise titled the Ghost, is the one film that is potentially South Korea's answer to this iconic Japanese franchise. With this in mind, the feature contains in-depth originality that sets it apart from other films, and even when the next horror scene is predicted by the viewership, the film is still capable of surprising us with the unexpected, essentially providing the audience with a satisfying horror film.

Though the explanation regarding why the ghost in question decides to begin extracting its vengeance is only loosely explained, and thus open to interpretation, the plot itself is as unexpected as it is entertaining, providing the viewer with a story that is not only coherent, but has enough suspenseful twists to keep viewers engaged until the end.

Eun-seo (Hye-bin Jeon) is violently attacked by a water bound entity not long after her sister, Eun-jeong (Yun-ji Lee) uses a bunshinsaba with her friends to contact the dead. After this opening, which effectively grasps our attention, the story focuses upon Min Ji-won (Ha-Neul Kim), who has been suffering from amnesia. Her consulting physician makes it known that her condition is beginning to settle, and despite this being cause for celebration in most instances, in this feature, it is quite the opposite.

Haunted by an unidentifiable figure in her dreams, which always has some bizarre connection with water, Ji-won begins a desperate investigation to find the link between the entity whose haunting her, and the memories she has long forgotten, and what's more, how all of it is connected to other young women, haunted by the same faceless terror.

Unlike in films like Memento Mori, where the audience is on the outside looking in, Dead Friend thrusts the viewers right into the thick of the terrifying scenario. The effects are satisfactorily delivered, but it is the depth of character that really benefits the feature, with a collection of sympathetic, vile and enjoyable individuals that make this film such a great experience.

The end of the feature could have been vastly more conclusive, though this is certainly overshadowed by the film's success; after watching this, you will never look at a glass of water the same way again.
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10/10
Great movie !
danielfgagnon20 December 2005
This is a ghost story that began like many common horror movies. But you'll soon find out it's not at all like your typical and often boring American horror movie. Yeah ghost stories are pretty common, but this one is different. I prefer the Asian style of horror movies, that rely less on special effects. This movie isn't perfect, but it's far above average. It has an excellent casting, good special effects and an ending that I didn't saw coming. I thought it would end like many horror movies of that type. Well I just didn't took seriously one of the flashback, so I didn't knew it was a clue until the end. That's why the movie is better then just good. See it for yourself !
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6/10
Beautifully done...
poe42613 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's not the destination so much as the journey that's important- an observation that, when it comes to movies (most especially fright films, unfortunately), is a valid one. Still, the fact that most production companies seem content to "play it safe" (which is an interesting dichotomy when the subject is fright films) is distressing. THE GHOST is beautifully crafted and- as is often the case in Asian fright films- boasts a strikingly beautiful leading lady, but it fails to push the envelope in any way. I would suggest aspiring horror filmmakers look up short stories like FIREFIGHT by David Drake or HOME IS THE HUNTER by Henry Kuttner or BILLY WOLF'S RIDING SPIRIT by Kevin Lyons or PIGEONS FROM HELL by Robert E. Howard or WITCH WAR by Richard Matheson or THE FEAST IN THE ABBEY by Robert Bloch or THE ASH TREE by M.R. James or THE LIPS by Henry S. Whitehead or THE OBLONG BOX by Edgar Allen Poe or FLOP SWEAT by Harlan Ellison or THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson or THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH by H.P. Lovecraft or WASTELAND by Yours Truly (in the xlibris book THE NIGHT RIDERS by M. Kelley) or the novels THE HOUR OF THE OXRUN DEAD by Charles L. Grant or A MANHATTEN GHOST STORY by T.M. Wright or THEY THIRST by Robert R. McCammon or I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson or THE SUNDIAL by Shirley Jackson or TRANSFIGURATIONS by Michael Bishop or THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE by H.P. Lovecraft or CARRION COMFORT by Dan Simmons or any one of a thousand others that deserves consideration. Filmmakers haven't even scratched the surface, yet...
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5/10
Less than it could have been
ebeckstr-121 January 2019
An unnecessary and excruciatingly derivative opening sequence gets this movie off to a bad start. Things get somewhat better from there, and the middle chunk of the movie becomes a fairly entertaining supernatural suspense story. However, much of the movie is marred by cheap, poorly edited, unimaginative jump-scares. To make matters worse, the closing sequence of the movie is as equally derivative and unnecessary as the opening sequence, nor does it follow the internal logic the movie had established toward the end, thus ruining what would have otherwise been a comparatively satisfying conclusion. What could have been a pretty neat ghost flick collapses beneath these flaws.
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9/10
Effective if slightly flawed ghost story
kannibalcorpsegrinder15 March 2018
After surviving a tragic accident, a college student stricken with amnesia must solve a series of clues about her past that revolve around her and her friend's treatment of a classmate that has now come back from the grave to extract her revenge which is slowly taking out those original perpetrators.

This was an extremely entertaining entry that had plenty to enjoy about it. One of the best parts is the fact that there are so many supernatural encounters that the film is seemingly built around them. It starts off with a bang as the girls playing with an Ouija board is the usually-creepy game and is mixed nicely with the cutaways to the restless sleep which is a perfect suspense-builder which then segues beautifully into the twist and the final kitchen attack which is a stellar show-stopping moment. A similar scene in a darkroom is almost as good, with the picture-scare serving nicely to start the proceedings, the suddenly-blackened room lit only with a cigarette-lighter is ultimately creepy, and the ghost appearing out of nowhere is just utterly spectacular and ranks as another highlight. Other standout scenes include the freak-out in the movie theater to a fantastic dream sequence where they play hide-and-seek with a ghost in a fog-covered cemetery along with a great scene where there's seemingly endless flashes of nightmare-ish faces appearing out of nowhere and the encounter at the waterfall that sets up the wonderful twist at the finale which is completely unexpected and definitely works well to send the film out on a high, the fact that they're so much fun is a plus for the film in any regard. Also really fun is the several flashbacks used to spell out everything. The two main ones are the best, as the first one is where we initially learn what she was like to the girl in the past with the group of friends bullying the girl to how they singled her out to be picked on. The second flashback that shows how they eventually grew apart after the difference in their social stature makes for a great contrast to her current state and helps sell this one even further. The last plus for the film is the fact that the ghost here manages to offer up a really fun and unique killing method that allows for more creepiness to come out of the film as well. These here are what work for the film as there wasn't a whole lot here that wasn't worthwhile. One of the few problems is the film's rather slow beginning due to several relatively small issues. One of those is the fact that the scares presented here, from the hide-and-seek game to the encounters in the swimming pool, are really just too short to mean anything, coming so rapidly that it's hard to take them in as they're done without ever doing anything about it. The last big flaw to this one is the fact that the middle segments are so slowly-paced that outside of the ghost's actions, it hardly has anything worthwhile. First up is the fact that the amnesia angle is dragged out way too long to really mean much of anything, taking up the entire middle portion of the film and not at all doing much to keep the momentum going since the film takes an eternity to spell out what really happened. It also doesn't help much that an explanation for their behavior toward the girl is beyond lame and really shouldn't have been the cause when there are far more believable ones out there. These here are the film's few problems.

Rated R: Language and Violence.
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8/10
Amnesia and puddles
Tanuccoon10 October 2011
A young amnesiac's forgotten friend are being stalked and killed off by a ghost who drowns them in odd locations. The girl realizes that she has to recover her memories and learn the source of the problem or she may die next.

Ryeong uses many of the standard a-horror conventions like a pale, long-haired ghost girl whose hair randomly appears places. The main thing that sets this spirit apart is a limitation involving water (hence the intended victims' fear of it). The amnesia is also an interesting gimmick, since it potentially allows the protagonist to be guilty of something while still allowing sympathy for the character (because she doesn't even know what she might have done and the amnesia makes her a new person). The amnesia itself naturally ties into the twist which, although clever, leaves all kinds of questions. I also wasn't sure why the victims' bodies had red eyes, unless it's a side-effect of drowning.

The make-up effect on the ghost girl was kinda neat. The only other real effect involved some moving puddles.
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4/10
Incomprehensible and boring
tawdry_hepburn28 June 2008
To call a film boring is not something I would usually count as a valid criticism. However, when a film is crassly made of spare parts from other films that weren't that good to begin with, and it is slow as molasses with no real payoff, I think it's fair to call a spade a spade. And The Ghost is a very boring film.

A movie that is about as original as its' name, The Ghost tells the story of a young girl with amnesia being haunted by a ghost that holds the secret to her past. Only, it's a whole lot more complicated and less interesting than one would think.

The plot line is almost incomprehensible for most of the picture and the hook, the amnesia element, only makes things worse. It seems that no one, including the screenwriter and director have any clue what the hell is happening at any given moment. Instead they chose to do what roughly amounts to the filmic equivalent of a sitcom clip show. There are scenes taken directly from Ringu, Dark Water, Shutter, The Grudge series, and a smattering of Pulse for good measure. Making matters worse, the half dozen female leads all dress and read their lines alike, making them impossible to tell apart.

There is just nothing to grasp onto with this film. The story isn't all that well thought out. The amnesia gimmick is lazy. The mystery element is un-involving and handled with little grace. The characters never deduce anything, all the information is just handed out through the lead remembering her past whenever it is convenient for the plot.

The cinematography, full of reflections and shots of water at least attempts to add to the subtext, a thematic link with the amnesia and the final twist (which I won't reveal) is nice, but often overwrought. Even the score feels borrowed and cliché.

Worst of all, the inciting action for the curse isn't very interesting and the final twist is predictable and lame. "Wait, you mean that one character who has 15 minutes of screen time but appeared to have nothing to do with the plot comes back in the end? No!" Audiences are too savvy for this kind of tripe. Anyone who has seen any of the films that this rips off will find very little to even keep them awake with this feature. I used to think Shimizu was the bottom of the barrel for this kind of crap (remaking his grudge film no less than 5 times) but even his second rate work like Reincarnation, a film I couldn't even bring my self to finish, is miles ahead of this.

For more reviews please visit www.collider.com
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6/10
Your typical Asian horror
K_Todorov9 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Dead Friend keeps the established formula of the ever popular Ringu type Asian Horror movie intact. Sadly it doesn't really offer anything particularly new to those already familiar with this type of film.

The plot partially revolves around a group of friends who are one by one, haunted and killed by a vengeful ghost. But the main part of the film is focused around a traumatized girl who is trying to recover parts of her lost memory. At some point both stories intervene with each other and as most horrors of this type the viewer will experience the same type of plot devices seen before. Here is in fact the disappointing part, "Dead Friend" had a really good opportunity of elevating above the typical A-horror movie by creating a much more personal and character centric film. That delves deep in around themes such as friendship and redemption. A good example of the way that could have been done is if the movie ended with the revelation at the lake. If so had happened the main character would have found herself transgressed into a much more grown and mature person who took responsibility for her actions. Sadly as it is that is not the choice of the filmmaker as in a few minutes later he presents us the what has become already a very overused plot device. Namely the plot-twist. With it all those ideas mentioned above are destroyed and the characters find themselves the same as they were from the start. A sad way to end what could have been a very promising film.

The acting is good but not anything entirely special. All of the main cast perform adequately with the given dialog and keep the movie's overall feel to a much more grounded level. For what it's worth director Tae-kyeong Kim is able to create a very tense and dark atmosphere through his good camera work. But again it's really nothing we haven't seen before.

Even with a missed opportunity to create a much more memorable experience "Dead Friend" is still an entertaining movie. That could as a well easily introduce more people to this genre and also prove a nice watch to those aiming to fill their Asian-Horror collection.
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6/10
Ho-hum story
refresh_daemon30 October 2006
I received this Corean film for free when I purchased a bunch of other titles from YesAsia.com. I didn't really want it, but every time I deleted a free title, this one would pop up. Eventually, I consented to receive this one for free.

This is a horror film, as you can tell from the title, and is not related to the U.S. film bearing the same name. The setup is this: There's an amnesiac woman who starts seeing funny things. People who she used to know start to wind up dead. Spooky goings on, I say. Spooky.

Personally, I wasn't terribly frightened during the course of the film, although the jump-scares were sometimes effective, but at other times failed to startle me. The central conceit of the film (the amnesia) is a little silly, but I suppose that's what you deal with in horror films. In this one, it allows the film to be a mystery as well, as the young woman tries to recollect the past. The end conceits are a little forced and a bit hard to buy, personally, but it does help the film to be a little bit more than a total genre knockoff.

Unfortunately, the film still ends up being less than impressive. The acting isn't terrible and the overall direction is easy to take in. It's just that the story is ho-hum. I suppose you could do a lot worse; this is mildly entertaining stuff. 6/10.
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4/10
If you've seen a South Korean horror or two, you've seen this too.
artemis030217 January 2006
Simply put, I was amazingly disappointed. I'm a huge fan of Asian Horror, and I can watch unoriginality (I myself enjoyed "The Red Shoes" and "Phone"), but this was just poor.

The movie has a lot of elements that are very high-quality: the photography is eye-catching, the visuals are cool, the directing is inspired, the acting is pretty good, the music is easy on the ears, and the CGI is incredible. But, since this is a horror film, we are expected to be scared, which just won't happen with this film. As with most South Korean horrors, this is unoriginal almost from beginning to end: there's the trademark long-haired vengeful female ghost, ominous clumps of thick, black hair and puddles of water, and near the end, a twist that *almost*, but not quite makes sense out of the whole thing (the twist is easily one of the best qualities). And to the viewer's irritation, when the film isn't recycling (at times, so exact that it could easily be dubbed plagiarized) imagery from other movies, it's making you jump. A lot. And by jumps, I don't mean things jumping out or anything, just VERY loud noises and screeches in the soundtrack used to make the audience jump six feet in the air (there's even a few "made-you-jump" moments that are simply infuriating). And when it is not ripping-off other movies, it's boring, and hard to sit through.

And it's a shame, because "Ryeong" could have easily been really good, and it has everything to make it good, but its the annoying overuse of completely predictable loud noises and jump scares that eventually ruin the movie. A perfect example of how good it could have been: there's a moment when one of out characters is looking at a corpse, and without a sound, the corpse looks back. It's wholly predictable, but the use of silence in that scene is brilliant. And unfortunately, that's as scary as the movie got for me.

Admittedly, "Ryeong" has a few good features, and even a couple jumps that aren't as predictable, and do work. There's a very good and sad back-story used to explain the events, and the twist is pretty unpredictable. Those are the only things that separate the film from any other Asian ghost/horror film. But the problem with these is, even though they do work, they have been used before (J-Horror fans will easily realize the big reveal was inspired by "A Tale of Two Sisters"), and it takes the back-story a good fifty minutes to get going.

So in the end, "Ryong" really seems like a truly wasted opportunity. Tae-kyeong Kim hoped that the plot twist and other good features act as diversions, so the audience won't notice the huge flaws. But he failed, and well... We noticed everything.

My rating: 4/10.
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7/10
haven't we seen this before?
red__devilxox10 September 2005
FIrst of all, people that love this movie either haven't seen enough Asian horror or are easily amused. It's nothing more than a movie combining both The Ring and Dark Water, with an edgy twist thrown in for good measure. I admit, the twist came out of nowhere for me and was interesting but overall, the movie was generic and un-original. Some aspects of the movie were dragged out but then they might have been essential to explain the relationships between the main character and others.

I'd recommend this if you're new to Asian horror and the concept of a dark-haired wet girl out for revenge still scares you. Otherwise, it's just good for a popcorn movie. If you really want to get best results though, watch it alone and in the dark because the green scenery is a nice effect and the sound is at least guaranteed to make you jump at unexpected moments.
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8/10
I bet ya this one will get an inferior remake.....
thomvic25 October 2010
I hadn't really heard about this film before. I was just in the video store when I saw this was on sale as an ex rental for $5 (and there was a buy three movies for $10 deal) so I looked at this, and was like 'yeah why not?' - I am a fan of Asian horror so I thought this would be an interesting story.

And I wasn't disappointed. It has all the elements there - the creepy atmosphere, the symbolism of the ghost's methods of killing its victims, a plot that you have to see to the end to fully understand the past of the main character who has lost her memory and doesn't know what she has done.

The story is told through Min Ji Won, who has lost her memory and keeps seeing mysterious figures around her, seemingly threatening her (who almost resembles Samara from the Ring with that iconic hair and one eye). But she doesn't know why. Then she discovers she was friends with three other girls, who seem to be falling victim to this 'ghost'. But there also lies another girl who is not in the photo of the four of them, and may have had a deeper connection to Min Ji Won...a connection she will regret once she finds out....

Yes, this follows the formula like most horror movies - that sense of discovery when you have to know the truth about the tormenter. The twist at the end may confuse some viewers; I had to think about it a few times to grasp what was happening. But in the end, I think this story is also an emotional tale of loneliness and being accepted, so it was quite a sad story at the same time.

I just hope the Americans don't trash this story when they remake their one and put in cheap thrills over suspense. God why do they keep doing that?
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4/10
A Horror movie that could have been great
chrichtonsworld16 August 2007
This movie starts out with this creepy song that gave me some chills like the song used in Nightmare on Elmstreet. It immediately sets the mood. The sequence that follows also shows what to expect. We are made aware that a ghost is present. The mystery concerning this ghost is what keeps this movie together. But the structure of the plot is so complex that it is difficult to make sense of it. The ideas behind the plot are quite interesting. Only the way it is told to us is far too abstract. I understand that the director believed that he had to maintain the mystery as long as possible. The problem is that when certain matters get revealed you never get a satisfying explanation. The motives of the important characters are left out and some questions raised in the movie don't get answered at all. Since we don't learn enough about the characters it becomes hard to care for them. And as a consequence you will loose interest. Only some scares and a twist save this movie from becoming a total failure. The twist is interesting but no real shocker. The experienced viewer will see it coming. Some reviewers complain that this movie is too much like Ringu and is not original at all. Well it is true that some of the effects and scares are borrowed from that movie. But there is a main difference. The suspense in Ringu mainly was based on this one twist where the viewer finds out how the characters get killed. WARNING MILD SPOILER: *In Ryeong (the Ringu like) twist is used as a creepy effect to accompany another crazy twist.* END MILD SPOILER. Ryeong heavily depends on a complex structured plot and twist that doesn't contain enough scares to hold your interest Simply put: This isn't a scary movie. Then what is the point? If this film doesn't give you a well told story and in the end does not scare much, aren't you wasting your time then?
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5/10
Terribly disappointing
Iljun23 June 2004
As horror movies go, this movie may not be terrible but comes close.

The most scary thing about this movie is its poster. The movie depends on sound to actually scare you (explosively loud music/effects when ghosts appear or are about to appear). Lots of inane redundancies and too much holding back of crucial story lines. As a result, when I learned of the supposed "secrets", I couldn't help imagine "so that was it?" Watching the film, I was frequently bored. The plot seemed to be complex, but needlessly so, and apparently so on purpose – an obvious attempt by the filmmakers to camouflage its shallowness in what is now becoming the all-too-hackneyed memory loss shtick. To be fair, there is an interesting twist at the end, in a 5-minute scene that was more interesting than the rest of the movie put together. The brochures and the marketing blitz make much of the fact that there is no blood in the movie. When did this become a virtue? Anyhow, it would have taken blood and a whole lot more (like a real script, instead of a montage of trite visuals) to give this clinker any legs. Unoriginal, uninspired, uninspiring, and unscary. Totally forgettable.
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5/10
The Ghost: generic title; generic film.
BA_Harrison4 March 2012
When her old school pals start to turn up dead, drowned in seemingly impossible circumstances, amnesiac schoolgirl Min Ji-won (Ha-Neul Kim) attempts to piece together her past and discovers a terrible secret.

The Ghost is a slick, stylish and well acted piece of Korean 'yūrei' horror with all the typical elements one might expect from the genre—the creepy girl with long hair, an excess of water, a mystery to be solved, a unique plot device (amnesia), and a clever turn or twist at the end—but there are two very good reasons why this one hasn't received the Hollywood remake treatment yet: just like its title, it's too bloody generic, and too bloody confusing.

The ghostly occurrences are nothing we haven't seen before in umpteen other Asian horrors, and the revelation in the film's closing moments is so poorly executed that understanding what the hell is going on is nigh on impossible. In the end, The Ghost is just another forgettable entry in an overpopulated and rather tiresome genre.

4.5 out of 10, rounded up to 5 for IMDb.
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