Phone (Pon) Review

Movie: Phone (Pon)
By: Maniac E
Date: August 21, 2011

When your phone rings, You know your doomed

Shortly after popping Phone in the DVD player, my thoughts were, "Oh no. Not another Asian long-haired ghost story". I thought it was going to be the same old thing. Since watching, I've read reviews on the internet that complain about the movie being "derivative" or "unoriginal" (if you want to see derivative and unoriginal, check out Ju-rei). And while I agree to a certain extent, Phone has enough twists and turns in the plot to keep it from being just another "ghost with long hair" story. I see it as a murder mystery with supernatural elements. I'll admit that the mystery had me guessing up to the big reveal and the supernatural stuff had me jumping on more than one occasion. While it's certainly not the best Asian horror movie I've ever seen, I was reasonably entertained after a slow start.


Korean director Ahn Byung-ki’s's excellent, if not mainstream horror movie does for portable cell phones what the equally enjoyable Japanese Ringu (aka The Ring) film did for mysterious video cassettes and televisions. And it does it very well considering that Phone is the first Korean motion picture to be fully funded by the American Hollywood movie machine, more specificly, DISNEY BEUNA VISTA (!). But wait, hold on, I know what you're thinking... 'Disney? And horror movies? What's up with that?! That kind of combination can't be good, can it?!'. But surprisingly, it is.



After writing a series of articles about pedophilia, the journalist Ji-won (Ji-won Ha) receives threatening calls on her cellular and she changes her number. Her close friend Ho-jung (Yu-mi Kim) and her husband Chang-hoon (Woo-jae Choi) invite Ji-won to move to their house in Bang Bae that is empty and closed. When the young daughter of her friends Young-Su (Seo-woo Eun) answers a phone call in her mobile phone, the girl screams and changes her behavior, feeling a great attraction for her father and rejecting her mother. Meanwhile Ji-won receives weird phone calls and sees and listens to a teenager playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on the piano. After investigating her phone number, Ji-won discovers that the original owner of the number, Jin-hee (Ji-yeon Choi), had vanished and the two next owners of the number have mysteriously died in unusual circumstances. Her further investigation about Jin-hee discloses that the teenager was absolutely disturbed with her obsessive love for a man that had broken the relationship with her, and later she unravels dark and tragic secrets about the fate of Jin-hee.


First off I would like to take my hat off for the acting. The first time around I mainly noticed Seo-woo Eun (Young-ju) because she was just so damn good (and fucking scary) as the possessed little girl. I mean... damn... I'm in awe. I think she will go down in my book as the cutest/creepiest kid actress. When I watched Phone a second time, I noticed how amazing everyone else was. Ji-won Ha (Ji-won) was great. She was about the same as she is in the other movies I've seen her (Sex is Zero and Nightmare). She shows suspense and fear very well. Yu-mi Kim (Ho-jeong) was outstanding. She didn't get much to work with till the end, but I was impressed. Ji-yeon Choi (Jin-hee) did awesome at being the vengeful ghost girl. I can't go into her character too much due to spoilers, but damn is she good at showing emotion. Even the smaller roles in the movie the actors really give you the feeling they are frightened by everything what is happening. And in the that is was breaks or makes a movie in the end such as this one. The directing was very stylish. Great cinematography and color schemes. I thought Byeong-ki Ahn did a much better job in Phone than Nightmare. The score was perfect, It added a lot to the suspense and atmosphere of the movie.


In the end I enjoyed Phone expect some flaws and cliques. The pacing is faster than most Asian movies, and it has some pretty creepy scares. I found Phone to be a much more enjoyable film than One Missed Call, a Japanese killer phone movie by Miike. At least the suspense in Phone keeps you going to where you never get bored.



Phone (Pon)


Phone (Pon)


Ahn Byung-Ki






Ha Ji-Woen, Kim You-Mi, Choi Woo-Ja, Eun Seo-Woo