IMDB Rating 7.5/10 96 min - Rated 15 Horror | Thriller
Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani Director: Hideo Nakata
Rumours of a mysterious video tape that causes the death of anybody who views it attracts the attention of a reporter. When her son accidentally sees it, she must race against the clock to discover its secret before his inevitable death. Director Hideo Nakata found huge success in the west as well as in his native Japan with this slick and highly original chiller. He uses everything at his disposal to build a sense of fear. The dark and moody visuals are particularly effective, with rain used to block out light, while the incredible intensity of the video itself threatens to reduce the audience to a collective of cowering wrecks every time extracts are shown. The opening sequence is a minor masterpiece in itself. Here, two schoolgirls discuss the rumour of a videotape that kills when one reveals that she has not only seen it but also received a phone call claiming that she would die in seven days (something common to all the victims). As if that isn't enough, exactly seven days have passed since the call. Strange things start to happen in the house, culminating in the girl's unexplained death. Her face stiff and disfigured by some unimaginable fear is as disturbing as any image from the horror cinema portfolio. Nakata's demanding and imaginative film is a harrowing watch, but it's also rewarding, paying you back everything you've invested — as long as you can bear to watch to the end. Don't bother with the American remake, the Japanese original runs rings around it.