At the start of the week, I was going to try and get more than the one review in that I have done so far this week. Life has a way of messing up plans though. Last night I sat down and decided to watch another movie at long last. This time I decided on a J-Horror film called Pulse (2001). I didn't know much about it outside of what the description had to say and that it has been remade here. This is a film that is highly praised, for the most part, by critics. It has a slightly below average rating on Netflix and an above average rating on IMDb. As much as I tend to like J-Horror, I love a good ghost story, I still come across some that I don't like.
Pulse revolves around two people. One is Michi (Kumiko Aso) who works at a flower shop with a couple of her friends. The other is Kawashima (Haruhiko Kato) who is a college slacker. One of Michi's co-workers hasn't shown up for work in a week and the rest of his co-workers are getting worried about him. They are worried because they haven't heard anything from him and also because he was supposed to have a computer disc ready for them for a project that is due the next day. Michi decides to check up on him and finds him home and has a little conversation with him. As she is looking for the disc for work, he disappears off camera. Michi goes looking for him and finds that he has hung himself.
Meanwhile, Kawashima has started to use the internet for the first time. As he is trying to figure out how it works, a web site pops up that shows some strange images as if from a web cam and the message "Do you want to see some ghosts?" pops up as well. Kawashima decides to try and find someone that can help explain why this web site keeps popping up on him. He meets Harue (Koyuki) who is a computer wiz and thinks the people on the web site are truly ghosts. They figure out that the place where spirits go, once death happens, is full and now they are showing up here with us. The only problem with that is that isn't a good thing.
The effects are your basic J-Horror effects. My favorite stuff comes in at the end of the movie where we see an empty and smoking Tokyo. The best shot is when a low flying and flaming plane goes flying over head. The acting seemed to be pretty good but I found a lot of the dialog confusing. Sometimes a conversation might be taking place but we can't see the two or more people clearly enough to see which is talking. Since the movie is subtitled, it was hard and confusing to me to try and figure out which character was saying what.
Pulse offers up some very creepy moments but I also found this film to be very confusing. Part of that was because of the dialogue found in the film. Part of it was the editing in the film. Sometimes they would throw a scene in between two other scenes that made little sense to me as to why it was there. One scene shows a guy on a bus with some nice music playing and suddenly he is shown walking on the street with no music playing. It wasn't a confusing cut, just felt odd to me. Made me wonder why they chose to edit the film in that way. Since it was late at night I might have been more confused than I needed to be with things. I had to read through some threads about the movie in order to put it all together. Maybe watching it a second time would have helped but since the movie is almost at the two hour mark, I wanted to have time to write this and get the movie back to Netflix. I found out that I wasn't the only one that was very confused by the movie, so at least I wasn't alone.
I understood the basic plot for Pulse and didn't really care for it. It really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Pulse can be very slow at times as well which just adds to my not really caring for this one. I don't know if it was because of the translation or what but I really felt the dialogue could have been so much better than it was. Maybe better dialogue would have helped with the slow areas, by keeping it more interesting. Even though there were some areas of the film that I was impressed with, I don't know if watching the entire film to get to those parts again would be worth it. It is a thinking person's movie but they could have done a much better job with it. At least that is how I feel about it.
2 out of 5 Meet a ghost and will lose your will to live
5 days ago