Recently, I have just turned 29 and it’s the year 2020 so I can say I feel freaking old. When this movie originally came out, the hype through my middle school was real. This was the movie that kicked off the trend of American remakes of Asian horror films: The Grudge, Shutter, and The Eye just to name a few. The trend then annoyed me so I avoided this movie like the plague, but 18 years later was I wrong?
Rachael is a young mom who is wrapped up in her journalistic work, frequently neglecting her intelligent, quiet, and self sufficient son Aden. When Aden’s best friend and cousin Katie dies under mysterious circumstances all of a sudden, Rachael looks into the only clue she can find: a videotape. Legend has it that anyone who watches will die seven days later; Rachael watches it and now the race is on to uncover the cryptic mystery of the tape before Rachael and her son die from a malevolent force, Samara.
Not knowing anything about the basic premise going in, I wished I paid this movie a watch back then. The movie looks damn good visually and I must admit, the tape is unsettling and the effects hold up surprisingly well nearly two decades later. The main actors do a good job and it’s easy to relate to the characters, including the villain Samara who has a tragic backstory. The lore behind the tape was my favorite part besides the false ending. The only real complaint I have is sometimes the acting in certain scenes feels clunky and having images from the tape flash at you for a jump scare has effective moments, it starts to get old, especially if it ain’t your first viewing. In the end, I think it’s a pretty damn good horror movie that’s gladly recommend. May the gaming gods bring you glory.