Before viewing this film, I wasn’t sure what quite to expect. On the one hand, One Missed Call seemed similar to other recent asian horror films (Ringu, Ju-on, and The Phone, in particular), but on the other hand, Miike Takashi was the director, a filmmaker with a history of disturbing, entertaining, and fascinating films. Would One Missed Call be another entry in the dark-haired avenging ghost sub-genre or would the film break out of that constrictive mold? The answer to both questions, funnily enough, is yes.

While One Missed Call is clearly influenced by the previously-mentioned films, Miike’s unique visual style and taste for the content results in a film that stands apart in a homogenous sub-genre. Not as visually rigid as Ringu or Ju-on, the fright sequences in One Missed Call are more kinetic, more tense. Miike builds on the template of Ringu and delivers a genuinely creepy film.

The narrative in One Missed Call is also less linear than standard horror films (though not as fractured as Ju-on). Miike plays with flashbacks and creates a cohesiveness that helps strengthen the story and brings a depth to the performances.

Though One Missed Call feels familiar, both in its subject matter and visuals, Miike Takashi creates a frightening film that manages to stand apart in a sub-genre of similiarities.