Sign up for our newsletters   

Baltimore City Paper home.

film Home > Movie Reviews

Film Clips

Pulse


By Ian Grey | Posted 8/16/2006

Strictly speaking, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s already classic 2001 nightmare Pulse didn’t score points by making linear sense. An almost unbearably scary-sad movie, the original Pulse used its trash-horror hook--the dead reclaiming Earth via telecommunication devices--as an unlikely go-point for existentially achy, uncanny meditations on urban spiritual squalor. Its "plot" was an intricate weave of seemingly disparate, uncanny images: a black splotch on a wall where a person should be, strangers furtively sticking red rape to a factory wall, a haunted woman wrapping her arms around nothing and telling it, "I love you." Dimension Films’ remake--directed by Jim Sonzero in color-desaturated Bucharest locations--has a decent idea of what made the original great but, in catering to American market needs, attaches to it an ungainly teen-movie frame, imposes what logic it can find in Kurosawa’s original, and loses the poetry in the process. Kristen Bell (TV’s great Veronica Mars) plays a student whose suicide boyfriend seems to have uploaded a nasty virus that includes mpeg attachments of the deceased. Instead, it turns out the dead are Wi-Fi-ing their way into this world, leading to some OK re-creations of Kurosawa’s set pieces. Like Sarah Michelle Gellar in her J-horror remake, The Grudge, the intrinsically plucky Bell makes an unconvincing victim. Otherwise, not an awful picture, just profoundly unnecessary.

Comments powered by Disqus
Calendar
CP on Facebook
CP on Twitter