Title: Pulse (2006)
Rating: 3 out of 5?
Tagline: “You are now infected.”
My Tagline: Sorry but I think that tagline is too funny on it’s own when I think about how the movie is about a bunch dingy college kids.
Favorite Quote: “Do you know what dying tastes like? Metal.”
Plot Synopsis: This pathetic twerp of a pussy hacker loser somehow finds ghosts living in the cyber-world. After he becomes withdrawn and distant (how can you tell? he’s a hacker) his friends (hacker’s have friends?) get worried about him and Veronica Mars goes in to investigate. Apparently the dude hung himself with his phone cord and much to my surprise people cared. Everyone decides to just get on with their lives but in a terrifying twist his friends begin receiving emails from beyond the grave. This turn of events causes his girlfriend (seriously? he had a girlfriend?) to dig deeper into the mystery. What she eventually uncovers is that the pussy loser not only discovered ghosts living in the binary code universe but he in fact let them out and this bizarre apocalypse painfully unfolds in front of us as the ghosts (or whatever the hell they are) use communication technology to attack humans and travel about our world. Naturally this lone college co-ed is the only one on the planet with the knowledge and guts to save the world. And that’s pretty much it. Well that and, of all things, red tape is somehow capable of stopping the cyber ghosts. Yeah…it’s pretty retarded.
Review: I’m still not sure how I feel about this movie. I haven’t seen the original Japanese version but from what I’ve heard it’s (shock surprise) superior or at the very least makes more sense as far as what the ghost things are and why they are doing whatever the hell it is they are doing to people. But I went into “Pulse” with no preconceived notions or thoughts about it. I had no idea what to expect and was open to any experience. The beginning credits said that Wes Craven was one of the writers and I thought to myself “Oh, maybe this will be a legitimately good horror movie.” I kept waiting to start enjoying the movie and was somehow caught off-guard. I remember thinking “Am I watching another ‘I Know Who Killed Me’ here and don’t even realize it or is this brilliant and I don’t even realize it?” The movie seemed to be so bad but I wasn’t laughing. I was just sort of paralyzed with confusion, “Why the hell would anyone make this movie?” After only one viewing I never could decide if I was watching bad movie gold or a misunderstood brilliant horror movie or what. I feel it is more appropriate to review based my initial impressions but I can tell you that this isn’t a misunderstood brilliant horror movie…or a good horror movie…or an okay horror movie.
Now I realize that Kristen Bell is a somewhat attractive young women (for God’s sake girl, eat something!) but what was the director’s deal with trying to stick the camera up her nose all the time? The close-ups were crazy on everybody but they were constant and to the extreme when it came to Ms. Bell. And it went on for about half the movie. I can just see the producers coming up to the guy after watching the dailies and saying, “Look, Jim, you gotta cool it with these close-ups. I don’t need to be able count each of Gonzalez’s nose hairs or be able to identify the mitochondria of Kirsten’s skin cells.” (that’s a joke for my biology fans out there) The same goes for Ms. Milian’s butt. Yeah it’s a nice butt but come on dude, can you try being a little more obvious? The whole movie is shot using some kind of depressing blue filter that makes everything look very unappealing and horror-movie-ish. There is some lame dialogue which leads to some lame acting coupled with a fucking weird plot that does make you want to like this movie and gives it fun-bad points. The other qualification for fun-bad that this movie has is characters. For a long time it looked like there wasn’t going to be any truly noteworthy characters until Veronica Mars and Boone go to talk to the guy the pussy hacker stole the ghosts from. His scene may be brief but it’s intense and fun. Now there are actually some legitimately good visuals in the movie. The best of course were lifted straight out of the Japanese version. Others like the scene where the cover art comes from looked fairly cool but I found jarring and disturbing as well as unnecessary. I also love that we have almost no connection to the pussy hacker at all. I make fun of him and everything but in truth there is almost nothing in the movie about him. Maybe some flashbacks or something might help us understand why Ms. Bell, or any of them for that matter, would give a shit that he’s dead. We’re just sort of told through exposition that this person was their friend and for no other reason they care and we’re just supposed to relate to them because we’re ordered to. Overall the movie is lame, pessimistic/depressing, and just fucking weird but it is all in good way. This seems like one that won’t be universally received as fun but I believe it is one that must be tried so I shall call it a “must see.”
Questions: -What’s the deal with the red tape? (yes, I understand that they explained it within the movie but that doesn’t change the fact that it was stupid)
-So…the world is over? That seems like a weird ending.
-What exactly was the motivation behind the ghost’s actions?
-Seriously? Ghosts live inside a computer program?
-Why, at first, did the ghost things take a long time to “steal your will to live” but later were like turning people into black ash and absorbing them into walls in the blink of an eye?
-Seriously? Red Tape?
-Did they ever explain what was going on with the videos people were getting on their computers?
-So you’re telling me that hacker dude was fucking Kirsten Bell? That it is what you were implying by telling me that those two were dating. That guy? Where is the justice in this world?
Unrelated observation: -And I used to think that Ms. Bell and Mr. Somerhalder were okay actors but man…I haven’t been seeing that lately.