Pulse (DVD)

Isn’t the worst of these dark creepfests – Bell is easy to watch, the storyline is engaging enough, and the visuals are effective at times – but it’s so ‘been there, done that’ that it’s hard to invest in something that merely evokes the sensation of déjà vu


Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian, Jonathan Tucker, Ron Rifkin, Brad Dourif

There may be some life in it, but no amount of paddle power’s going to keep this “Pulse” thumping for too long. It is the human way to check for signs of life, even in the seemingly motionless though, isn’t it?

Hollywood may have successfully resuscitated the out-and-out spook fest, thanks to a swarm of imaginative horror films from Asia whose producers were keen to milk, but like snacking on an extra big bag of unsalted peanuts – after so many, they really start to lose their taste.

The latest film to get the English-language dupe is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s 2001 horror hit “Kairo”. The movie told of a youngster who discovers that the afterlife’s hard drive is full and it is – through computers, cell phones and anything else that might’ve came alive in King’s “Maximum Overdrive”- leading kids to offing themselves.

Spunky “Veronica Mars” star Kristen Bell is the lead here, playing a young girl whom, whilst investigating the strange death of a hacker friend, realises that everyday communication devices are out to get us.

“They came through the computer – we saw them!” screams one terrified woman. “Save yourselves!”

Yep, you get the picture.

The Photocopier got a nice effective run with the American remake of “The Ring”, but ever since it’s been spitting out blotchy, crumpled junk – “The Grudge” is a prime example of a remake gone wrong – that’s nothing more than a waste of money, man-hours and power.

Unlike the original film, “Pulse” – which they’ve been trying to get off the ground for years actually, with Kirsten Dunst attached at one point – ditches all of the ambience, mind-numbing shocks and clear motivation, for something that seems misguided, woolly and motivated only by loud music cues. And while the bogeyman of the original film were quite scary, they’re nothing more than an admirable special effect here. No thought at all has gone into their conception.

OK, so “Pulse” isn’t the worst of these dark creepfests – Bell is easy to watch, the storyline is engaging enough, and the visuals are effective at times – but it’s so ‘been there, done that’ that it’s hard to invest in something that merely evokes the sensation of déjà vu.

System Overload. No Longer Compute.

Extras (there are actually quite a few) include dual commentary tracks, a number of featurettes and some deleted & alternate scenes. Yep, the extras are better than the movie.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris