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To celebrate the first year anniversary of the passing of their close friend Brendan, seven buddies venture out into the wilderness of Connemara, Co. Galway for a weekend break. They document the occasion by filming the get together. We see the friends getting reacquainted over a few beers before heading out. Each in turn takes time to say something individually about their dearly departed buddy to camera.
Aside from the odd skirmish, within the tight pack, everything seems to be going as planned, that is until a semi-naked, slightly bloodied and naturally freaked out man warns them of the masked men that have attacked him. Undecided in what to do the group begin to fragment and with no transport they find themselves stuck in the middle of nowhere and at the mercy of unseen assailants.
Before director Gore Verbinski put actress Naomi Watts through her paces for the US remake of Ringu (1998), South Korea had already banged out their version in record time to capitalise on the success of Ringu in Japan. At the time there was a four-year ban on Japanese movies being given a general release in South Korea. The Ring Virus went on to become one of the biggest box-office hits of that year in its native country.
Adhering much closer to the source material, Koji Suzuki's novel Ring, this adaptation tackles aspects of the source novel that both the original Japanese and the subsequent American version avoided such, as the matter of dual genitalia. Elsewhere the plot is pretty much as you've seen it before with a dodgy video tape claiming the lives of four teenagers, one of whom happens to have an aunt as a journalist, goes on to investigate what happened and in doing so puts her own life at great risk.
Following on directly from Part 4, we see Michael escape from the police through an underground tunnel. Unable to find him, the police go home, without seemingly looking for a body to confirm his demise. Michael shacks up with an old fellow, who has a parrot, lots of candles and seems to be there for no other reason than for Michael to wake up and kill him exactly a year later. What this fellow thought of having a comatose body in his abode for that long, which he would have to have had to bath and clean up occasionally to stop it from smelling of bodily stuff, just for him to wake up a year later and kill him, well it just doesn't bare thinking about.
Young Jamie is now in a child's clinic instead of a criminal institution of some sort, for killing her step-mother. Didn't she kill Rachel at the end of Part 4? Oh well, the filmmakers have just glossed over that conveniently. It's good to see Rachel back though, as she is far less annoying than her friend Tina, (played by Wendy Kaplan), or any of the other characters in the movie. Danielle Harris as Jamie convulses like you should do when reading such a dire script,Pleasance's Loomis hanging around a clinic he has no right to be in, upsetting a permanently hysterical Mexican nurse and pretty much everyone else, especially the misconceived comedy cops, is SCREAMING for a quick death. Unfortunately director Othenin-Girard drags out each set piece to audience sanity breaking point, except for a rather fun face off between Jamie and Michael towards the end of the movie.
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