• Tip: Don't click on the link that says it will show you ghosts.
Genres: Horror, J-horror, techno-horror, remake
Director: Jim Sonzero
Cast: Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian, Samm Levine, Rick Gonzalez
The latest remake of a Japanese horror film (2001's Pulse, directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa) suggests that modern technology — the Internet, cell phones, computers — is literally draining the life from people. In Pulse's urban landscape, a computer virus makes the rounds, putting this query onscreen: "Do you want to see a ghost?" After clicking on the text, the user sees dark, forbidding images of people peering at the screen as if trapped in a bad webcam feed. Soon, a moldy-looking growth not unlike that nasty, haunted ceiling stain in Dark Water begins to spread across the virus recipient until the victim becomes a hollow shell and disintegrates (kind of like the characters in the opening to Star Trek: Nemesis, but not as dramatic). Spreading through any kind of Internet or radio transmission, the ghost virus becomes a pandemic, leaving UPN's Veronica Mars to save the world from these lost souls bent on sucking the life force from humanity. Amidst the creepy imagery and mildly scary ghosts, Pulse has the seeds of a clever thinking person's horror film, but they never quite take root.
// Incidentally // 1) Cast member Christina Milian is a middling pop star. Quick: Can you name one of her songs? Neither can I. 2) In the movie Pulse, technology, including cell phones, becomes bad. In the novel Cell by Stephen King, an event called the pulse is spread by cell phones and turns people into zombies. Hmmm …