Pulse (2006) Movie Review
Written By: VB
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Jim Sonzero
Producers: Anant Singh, Brian Cox, Michael Leahy, Joel Soisson
Writers: Wes Craven, Ray Wright
Based On: Pulse by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Date Released: August 11, 2006
Kristen Bell as Mattie Webber
Ian Somerhalder as Dexter “Dex” McCarthy
Christina Milian as Isabelle “Izzie” Fuentes
Rick Gonzalez as Stone
Jonathan Tucker as Josh Ockmann
Samm Levine as Tim Steinberg
Octavia Spencer as Josh’s Landlady
Ron Rifkin as Dr. Waterson
Riki Lindhome as Janelle
Brad Dourif as Creepy Guy from diner
Rating = 0.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Mattie becomes considerably concerned when her boyfriend Josh starts acting increasingly distant from her, devoting his time to working with codes on his computer. Paying a trip to his apartment, she discovers that Josh doesn’t seem to be the same person he is. All around her, people are dying under strange and random circumstances. Mattie then meets Dex, the guy who has bought Josh’s old computer unit. As her friends start to die one by one, Mattie teams up with Dex on a race against time to try to get to the bottom of everything before they too meet their own demise.
Pulse (2006) is heavily characterized by the typical scares and jumps that most 2000s horror films and B-movies are made of. The film relies on ambitious visuals and graphic illustrations to be able to convey the horror that it wants to put out there. While it concludes to be unnecessary and unjustifiable, the scene where Izzie was tackled by a many-legged ghost coming out of a washing machine in the laundry room was frantic and panic-inducing in all its glory.
The Grave Review
Unlike its Japanese original, Pulse (2006) settles for cheap scares dressed in aggressive visuals for it to be worthy of being called a horror film instead of sharing the creativity of the original. Like most remakes go, Pulse (2006) gives off a tasteless depiction that is, needless to say, uncalled for.
Sans the depth of dread like the original, Pulse (2006) is the sort of movie that will get lost swimming in your pool of horror movie memories. Nothing in it is worthy of remembering, and it’s probably for the best. That being said, the film still holds a lot of potential that just wasn’t utilized — the promising storyline, some of the characters that are better off alive or of use just like Stone or Tim or the creepy guy in the diner, and the somehow forgivable cinematography. At the end of the day, the product is what everyone will get a piece of.
On a more positive note, there is a certain discerning appeal to the actors that took part in the cast of this film. Kristen Bell’s strong acting for the lead role suits her more than the original. Ian Somerhalder, on the other hand, is way too handsome for a guy in a horror film. While the looks of the actor sometimes have a direct correlation to the plot of the film, in his case, there is none. Come to think of it, the world has seen too many attractive actors in Western films and it may not actually be as surprising. Rick Gonzalez’s Stone is the stereotypical role of the friend whose death feels too early, maybe even dispensable. His character seems like one of those who don’t die, at least until the last 20 minutes– one of the minor disappointments of the film among others. However, character development hasn’t been the strongest suit for all of the roles in this movie.
The aggressive CGI of the film is also too much to handle. It paints an unnecessary image of the story and is a bit out of style, making the film all the more a pain to watch.
What is considered a redeeming trait of this film is the way it tried to complete the plot and offered explanations on its end for the viewers to fully grasp the turn of events. This is what the original film lacked that it purposely did so to create the mystery. While it is meant to be a creative instrument for the Japanese version, the way Pulse (2006) filled in the gaps deserves some credit.
Pulse (2006) boasts a screenplay written by Wes Craven, yet the film isn’t at par with any of the Master of Horror’s works.
It is for the aforementioned reasons that Grave Reviews gives Pulse (2006) one-half graves out of five graves.
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