Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian, Rick Gonzalez, Jonathan Tucker, Samm Levine, Zach Grenier, Brad Dourif, Ron Rifkin
Written by: Wes Craven, Ray Wright, based on a screenplay by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Directed by: Jim Sonzero
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi terror, disturbing images, language, sensuality and thematic material
Running Time: 86
Date: 08/11/2006

Pulse (2006)

2 Stars (out of 4)

'Net Loss

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Kairo (a.k.a. Pulse) may have been the scariest movie of the past 10 years, but the new American remake is a soulless imitation, set in a ruddy blue-gray world with grimy bathrooms and poorly-lit libraries. Kurosawa's concept, having to do with loneliness and isolation due to technology, is now distilled into a plot in which evil ghosts use the Internet and cell phones to attack the living. Kurosawa used chilling, dreamlike imagery, but director Jim Sonzero substitutes loud noises and sudden, jerky movements to pull off his wretched scare scenes. Charismatic Kristen Bell (TV's "Veronica Mars") goes a long way in easing the pain as a college student who discovers what's going on. The great, twitchy, rat-faced actor Brad Dourif has a small role as a doomsayer in a caf´┐Ż. Of all people, Wes Craven co-wrote the screenplay.

Note: this movie was not screened for the press. I saw it and reviewed it a week later, on August 18, 2006.

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