Pulse (2006)

12puls.600This is my review, I’m writing it right now, on my computer, on my black keyboard, currently I’m very sleepy, and I’m hoping to catch some sleep after I’ve finished my work, I’m writing this review of “Pulse”, a movie, that came out in theaters. Tedious? Yes. But that’s what sitting through “Pulse” was like, a remake that feels it needs to hold our hand and explain every little plot aspect to us every minute of its entire fucking run time. Tedious, no? Well, if you haven’t heard, we’re too stupid to understand a story, so Dimension has to guide us through every single character and sub-plot just because we can’t catch up.

“Pulse” is a remake for those who just were upset at the confusing esoteric nuances to “Kairo.” That’s a film you either love or hate for the same reason. It doesn’t explain everything. It leaves things to our imagination. It uses imagery to divulge the situations and not dialogue. It’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a Japanese horror film. “Pulse” is the opposite. What was “Kairo”? “Kairo” was a statement for the technology obsessed folks in Japan on the evolution of technology. It was a statement on how as technology grows, we grow further and further apart and fade into relative obscurity even though we feel we’re connecting with one another. Human contact is lost even though we’re under the delusion that we’re more connected now than ever before. And we end up so disconnected that we don’t even notice Armageddon on our doorstep. “Pulse” is basically just turned into another supernatural thriller like “White Noise.” It’s just “White Noise 2” in the end. Sonzero’s film resorts to everything Kurosawa didn’t.

There are jump scares, a pop rock soundtrack, the twang of the score, and the writer vainly attempts to add sub-plots to our characters that won’t come into any sort of relevance in the future. Production wise, Sonzero’s direction is pretty good. He manages to take a basically limp story and turns it into a visually appealing show of special effects and vivid surreal imagery that I truly enjoyed looking at. Good going, Sonzero. “Kairo” and its flair were in the fact that the characters in the film were disconnected and were forced to connect to live. This is just another cliché teenybopper low-grade techno pop thriller. The director does mimic one of the most effective scenes in “Kairo” with a character’s discovery of the specters up close and personal, but much of that is lost because the director truncates it and fails to deliver its pure tension seeped momentum.

I mean, what’s the rush here? Why not add on thirty more minutes for focus, and pacing? As for Bell, she plays her character as best she can, but you can’t expect much when her character is made up only of whimpers, screams, reactions, and one-liners like “Oh my god,” and “You’re not real.” Meanwhile, the film is basically filled with plot holes. How did the original creator get this “virus” on the attachment? Is this really a virus? Why do the ghosts suck souls and return? And even when Mattie learns that the ghosts spread through technology, and watches news reports about it, she still has her computer on with her internet hooked up, and uses her cell phone at every turn. How can we possibly root for a person this idiotic? It’s a shame start Bell’s not able to explore her acting abilities to the full effect here.

In “Pulse” she’s just Faye Wraye, doing nothing but standing around whimpering, screaming and spouting one-liners, and Bell is so much more talented than that. The characters that surround our blonde dimwit Mattie are just there to die. They appear, we focus on them briefly, and they simply disappear; thus the talents of Rick Gonzalez and Ron Rifkin are wasted. The film is only a little over an hour and the writers never bother to take out another twenty minutes to focus on characters, and tension. I’m currently in my early twenties, and I wish there’d be more films out there that didn’t cater to people my age, because most films catered to us really suck. Yes, it’s true, “Kairo” is twelve times better in terms of story, intelligence, and effectiveness that “Pulse” can’t even touch. And that’s because the potential it has to be an adult thriller is ruined because it’s just more teen marketed crap.