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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.85%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 7.69%
Pretty Bad: 40.38%
Total Crap48.08%

5 reviews, 22 user ratings

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Pulse (2006)
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Doug Bentin

"Take my "Pulse"--please."
2 stars

“Pulse” is another (yawn) American remake of a Japanese horror film, but the thing is that no one seemed to want to make it. Kirsten Dunst left the project before filming began, as did director Wes Craven, who now shares the screenplay credit with the author of the original, Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Even executive producer Bob Weinstein wanted to kill the production, and he’ll put his name on just about anything.

Kristen Bell, TV’s “Veronica Mars,” stars as Mattie, who, when she goes to check up on her odd-acting pal Josh finds him hanging in his apartment. Literally.

Then she and her other friends begin receiving via their computers messages asking them “would you like to meet a ghost?” What they see are blurred images of other local young people staring blankly back at them, with the occasional suicide tossed in for good measure.

So Mattie tracks down the guy who bought Josh’s computer, some fella improbably named Dexter (Ian Somerhalder, from “Lost”), and they learn from one of Josh’s hacker friends that he and Josh discovered some previously unknown band width that allows entities from another dimension, or from space, or some damn place, to slip into our world by sucking the life force from humans. It made more sense in Japanese and I don’t even speak Japanese.

Okay, all these video nasties need to come get us are computers or cell phones or notebooks, or some kind of techno-gizmo. It’s the Japanese unease with technology that springs from paranoia brought about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

It’s a theme that doesn’t fit us as well since Americans love techonocrap and don’t seem to have the doubts about it running amok that the Japanese have.

What director Jim Sonzero has done to try to make the situation a little creepier for us is to borrow liberally from Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Instead of our feathered friends all around us, and mostly ignored by humans, Sonzero sees the artifacts of the new technology everywhere, and like birds, we don’t pay much attention to them until they turn on us.

It’s not a bad theme, and such a clever westernizing of the original film I’m tempted to give most of the credit to that wily old pro Wes Craven, especially since the movie’s failure as a shock-opera is Sonzero’s.

The opening scene, in a darkened college library, goes for the throat right away and contains some nifty stuff, in a Ghostbusters-taken-seriously sort of way. Sonzero’s problem is that he leaves himself nowhere to go. The rest of the picture is merely the same set-up repeated ad nauseum—bruises running up victims’ arms, evaporating bodies, and ghost after ghost in machine after machine.

The ending approaches Hitchcock’s unsettling ambiguity in “The Birds,” but either Sonzero or his producers were afraid to leave the big questions unanswered and the big fears unaddressed, so the movie concludes on a so-what note.

The release date for “Pulse” was postponed several times, which was a good idea. The bad idea was finally settling on one. If you’ve seen the original Japanese film “Kairo,” and you should catch if you haven’t, there’s no reason to watch this version. In fact, there’s no reason to watch it anyway.

What this movie really needs is more creepy stuff, a clever working out of its thematic material, and dialogue in Japanese. Hey, wait a minute . . .

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 08/19/06 04:51:59
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

1/16/19 David Hollingsworth typically dull American remake 1 stars
8/14/16 David Hollingsworth Has no 'pulse'. It absolutely stinks. 1 stars
1/07/14 Andrew Mac Turned it off after 40 minutes. Bad acting, bad script, bad cinematography, bad color palet 1 stars
7/18/11 Flipsider Forget this movie exists and watch the excellent Japanese version. (or crappy 80's version) 1 stars
5/15/11 stephen nettles CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP 1 stars
4/29/07 David Pollastrini Kristin Bell looks hot, otherwise this was pretty dull. 1 stars
2/16/07 Axel Leos Oh my god.. Cellphones and Computers with ghosts ending the world...RUN!! 1 stars
2/09/07 Stanley Thai Actually a better movie than people think. 3 stars
1/09/07 Indrid Cold Makes more sense than the Japanese original, but in this case, that's not a good thing. 3 stars
12/19/06 Mike This is the dumbest movie I've EVER watched! I'm not joking at all. This is just stupidity! 1 stars
10/05/06 Regina Haniger Almost innofensive, almost coherent, and almost worth watching! 3 stars
8/29/06 Casper Can anyone recommend a good ghost flick? This ain't it. 1 stars
8/26/06 michael great horror flick, just wonder how good the new one will be 5 stars
8/25/06 Al Guy Hollywood will never learn. Awful. 1 stars
8/18/06 Tiffany Kinda scary 3 stars
8/17/06 Ole Man Bourbon E-mail is bad, mkay!!! 2 stars
8/16/06 Harold Yes, Eric, the original Kurosawa film was a million times better...this is ass. 1 stars
8/14/06 Sharon I shove that red tape up their fucking asses I hate this movie! 1 stars
8/13/06 Evil Wolfie This movie can go to hell and take it's red tape with it! 2 stars
8/13/06 phil This movie is 100x better then the Runaway Rainbow, 4 stars!!! 5 stars
8/12/06 Lloyd Burton Ending was horrible. Shows just how stupid people are when they get "want 2 see ghosts" 2 stars
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  11-Aug-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 05-Dec-2006

  08-Sep-2006 (15)


Directed by
  Jim Sonzero

Written by
  Ray Wright

  Kristen Bell
  Jonathan Tucker
  Ian Somerhalder
  Christina Milian
  Ron Rifkin
  Rick Gonzalez

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