Pulse (2006) (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/09/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Decent horror remake with a strong cast, atmospheric direction and some genuinely scary scenes – you'll never log on to your computer again. Probably.

What's it all about?
Kristen Bell (from Veronica Mars) plays Mattie, a student at Columbus University in Ohio, who's traumatised by the apparent suicide of her boyfriend Josh (Jonathan Tucker). When she starts receiving Help Me messages from Josh, Mattie and her friends Izzy (Christina Milian), Stone (Rick Gonzalez) and Tim (Samm Levine) investigate, but they are unprepared for what they find.

As an epidemic of suicides sweeps the country, Mattie and new friend Dex (Ian Somerhalder) discover that they are somehow related to a super-wide broadband that Josh had hacked into. Can they stop the newly unleashed evil from taking over the world?

The Good
As remakes of Japanese horror movies go, Pulse is actually pretty good. It's directed by commercials whiz Jim Sonzero, who combines low lighting and impressive effects work to create a genuinely creepy atmosphere.

Despite the high-tech nature of the premise, Sonzero is careful to have the creepiest scenes occur in all-too-familiar places such as the bath, the toilet and, in the film's most terrifying scene, the laundry room.

The Great
Kristen Bell makes an excellent lead and even survives a not-at-all-gratuitous T-shirt change scene with her integrity intact. Somerhalder is good too and there's strong support from Milian and from Ron Rifkin as Mattie's sceptical shrink. There's also a superb crowd-pleasing cameo, which it would be churlish to reveal here.

The only problem with the film (providing you buy into the premise in the first place) is that Kel O'Neill (as the mysterious Zieglar) really overacts his crucial explanation scene and comes close to derailing the movie altogether. Fortunately, however, he's only in the one scene.

Worth seeing?
In short, Pulse can comfortably join the ranks of Japanese horror remakes that are actually quite good, alongside The Ring and Dark Water. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Pulse (2006) (15)
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Content updated: 15/08/2018 07:44

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