Phone (Pon) (2002)

The last call you'll ever get...
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Phone - The Last Call You'll Ever Get ...

South Korean director Byeong-ki Ahn delivers another disturbingly spooky horror movie about phones... aptly titled Phone (Pon). Steeped in Korean folklore, Phone brings the kind of terror that fans of the genre have come to expect from Korea. There is nothing exceedingly original about this movie and it has been described as "Mobile Ringu" but it has been expertly directed to deliver shocks and scares that draw the viewer into the situation, making for an unsettling and unnerving experience. The plot, although based on a Korean urban legend, is flexible enough to allow enough twists and turns to keep the intriguement levels high enough to prevent any slow sections and a special mention must be made about Seo-woo Eun, the young actress who plays a tremendous role as the possessed Yeong-ju.

Ji-Won is a journalist who has recently published a story exposing several men who have been indulging in sex with underage girls; as a consequence they have been put on trial for their crimes and one of them has began to harass Ji-Won via her cell phone. She decides that it is time to disappear for a bit until the trials have finished so she changes her cell phone number and prepares to take a break in the currently-under-renovation house of her close friend, Ho-jung. Unfortunately Ji-Won's new phone number seems to have come with a stalker of its own and she starts to receive disturbing calls, one of which is answered by Ho-Jung's young daughter, Yeoung-ju. Yeoung-ju begins to act very strangely after answering the phone call rejecting her mother and showing much more than daughterly-love towards her father.

Ji-Won investigates the history of the number to try and determine the source of the disquieting calls and soon finds out that all previous owners of the number have died mysterious deaths. The original owner of the number was a schoolgirl named Chang-hoon who had an infatuation with a mysterious married man. Further investigation reveals that this mysterious married man was married to none other than Ho-jung and Chang-hoon has possessed Yeoung-ju via the phone call which explains the little girl's romantic advances towards her father and her hatred for her mother.

During one of Ji-Won's disturbing phone call and possessed laptop experiences she dislodges a power socket in her home from home trying to shut off the computer and is perturbed to find the back of the socket is entangled with black hair (I still wonder what the fascination with long black hair in Asian horror is all about). Destruction of the wall reveals a distorted corpse of the besotted schoolgirl. Ji-Won soon finds out that she didn't really want to know the truth behind the illicit love affair between her friend's husband and the rancorous Chang-hoon, but has to face the truth to save the soul of her biological daughter.

Phone is quite low on gore but big on scares and it must be mentioned again that Yeoung-ju can transform into a really freaky child whose facial expressions could strike fear into the most hardcore horror fan. This movie delivers everything that a K-Horror should and will not disappoint fans of movies such as Acacia and A Tale of Two Sisters.
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies
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