A young pathologist seeks answers to the mysterious death of a friend and soon comes into contact with the same cursed videotape that caused the death of the friend's wife and son, which is haunted by the curse of Sadako, a relentless spirit.
Reiko Asakawa is researching into a 'Cursed Video' interviewing teenagers about it. When her niece Tomoko dies of 'sudden heart failure' with an unnaturally horrified expression on her face, Reiko investigates. She finds out that some of Tomoko's friends, who had been on a holiday with Tomoko the week before, had died on exactly the same night at the exact same time in the exact same way. Reiko goes to the cabin where the teens had stayed and finds an 'unlabeled' video tape. Reiko watched the tape to discover to her horror it is in fact the 'cursed videotape'. Ex-Husband Ryuji helps Reiko solve the mystery, Reiko makes him a copy for further investigation. Things become more tense when their son Yoichi watches the tape saying Tomoko had told him to. Their discovery takes them to a volcanic island where they discover that the video has a connection to a psychic who died 30 years ago, and her child Sadako...Written by
Hana Jo Gilmour
The effect of Sadako coming out of the well was accomplished with only one simple special effect. Rie Ino'o, who is a student of the Kabuki theatre, which uses exaggerated motion and jerking movements to emphasize emotion, was heavily involved in the development of the Sadako character. Ino'o was filmed walking backwards and the film was run in reverse - the end result is Sadako walking forwards with unnatural motions. See more »
In a close-up of Sadako in the end scene, one of her fake finger extensions is coming off. See more »
It's strange, but I feel peaceful.
[Ryuji rubs her hand soothingly where the bruise Sadako gave her is]
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The storyline is based around an Urban legend that involves a piece of footage that causes the eventual death of anyone having watched it. A female news reporter, Reiko Asakawa , investigates this case after her niece is the latest victim of the alleged curse. From here on, the film follows the female lead's search for clues as she races against time to find salvation. Caught up in the events is former husband, Ryuji Takayama , who possesses latent psychic abilities which come in handy later on as things start to spring to light. The film is made in typical Japanese horror genre style that plays on the mind as well as including sudden shock effects. Fans of urban legend type horror will take delight in this offering from director Nakata Hideo and whilst the film does lack substance somewhat, it makes up in suspense and mystery. You are also made to sit on the edge of your seat by the film's soundtrack which is disturbingly quiet, subtle and sinister. The atmosphere is the key part of the film that makes it a horror masterpiece. The story is cleverly written to move at a rate which keeps the audience interested and finally end in a twist that sets itself up for a sequel.
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