The Japanese can really make a horror movie! Never mind the less authentic shadows and obvious build-ups: they really manage the atmosphere. A creative flare. A little slow-mo. A little creeping. A little noise...
And they're great at making little kids look creepy.
It's mainly about a curse though, and what a curse it is. Is it the pace? Is it the characters? Is it the culture? Whatever it is it really works well for the movie, and along with The Ring (the Japanese one) this is most definitely a cult classic in the scary movie realm. All the effects don't hold, but they weave the story so well otherwise. It's a series of encounters with a series of people, and it all ends... unwell. If there's anything I don't particularly appreciate here it may be the ending. It's not conclusive. In a bad way.
It's definitely better than the Americanized variant with the same name though, from what I remember, though I'm about to watch that one again too, real soon... will see if those recollections still hold.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle