From the guy that hates everything, a review like this makes me want to see the movie. ;-)
Ringu. Said to be even better. I liked that one, though I've yet to see the American remake, The Ring, to be able to compare.
ie Ring and Ring 2. I'd heard that this (Hollywood version) was positively cheesy by comparison. I can't think to imagine how some of the cultural references translated.
Still, that may not be a bad thing. I don't own a television, but my Room-full-o-monitors™ gave me the heebie-jeebies for a week after seeing them (Japanese version) as a double feature.
The Hollywood version held up pretty well. The original was definitely creepier, but Hollywood means money, and the bigger budget on the American version mainly went to good use.
But please do see the original Japanese version, it's better enough to be worth renting.
AFAIK, Dreamworks doesn't allow the distribution of the Japanese tape/dvd inside USA... smells fishy, innit?
I've seen both, and the American version definitely wrecked the scares in the way that scenes were filmed (especially the last one), although not half as bad as the Korean remake, Ring Virus. I was tense through parts of the American remake, but I think it was partly because I was anticipating creepiness, on a par with Ringu, which never appeared.
[spoiler] Filming the last scene from multiple angles (from the side??), intercut with car footage of Naomi Watts racing around the city? Everyone thinks they can improve on the last scene, but they're wrong.
Yes, it was scary. It was hard falling asleep that night, lying directly across from my TV. Plus, when I woke up in the morning, there was a scrambled funky message on my machine.