I try. I try and I try and I try. I really do. I really want to like a horror/scary movie. But no matter how many I see or how excited I am, I get let down every single time. This may be the last review of a horror film you'll ever see again at MoviePatron.com.
Pulse' (a remake of a popular Japanese title: Kairo) plot involves four college age kids who slowly, and I do mean slowly, discover that evil ghosts on "the other side" have found a way to enter the real world via the internet.... or something. Once the creatures come through, they have the ability to suck your soul out of you. But you don't die instantly. Instead, you apparently just sit around in a dazed state for a couple of days watching black bruises course across your body before you are sucked into a wall or turn to ash instantly.
Pulse: not scary. There is one slightly chilling scene in the beginning with a very, well-captured, creepy female ghost who attacks one of our protagonists. Otherwise, with the exception of two other very breif scenes, Pulse is filled with preposterous looking, static-laden entities who zip around the room and appear out of nowhere. These scenes are all within the trailer. If you've seen that, you've seen enough; trust me.
Speaking of the trailer, it is very misleading. It markets this film as an apocalyptic thriller; much like 28 Days Later or Dawn of the Dead. But it is not like this at all. The first hour is spent watching the main characters fumble about with their emotions and a vague notion that something "just isn't right." Finally, the plot unravels and the truth is revealed. By now of course, I'm bored to the point of laughter at most of the putrid dialogue and ridiculousness of it all. At this point, the apocalyptic portion of the story becomes apparent. All of a sudden, the city is empty and there is an emptiness to everything. When did this happen? Five minutes ago, it was life as usual on the college campus, now the city is a desolate wasteland. At this point, I don't even care anymore and just want the movie to end. But it can't end without a cat and mouse game of running and chasing through a computer facility, while our heroes try to upload a virus to stop the ghosts from coming through.
When I say the plot unravels, I mean just that. It's not a complicated story by any stretch, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense either. Nothing is really explained very well about the whys and hows of everything that is happening. Does it really matter? No. But a clever way of explanation would've taken away from all the crying and boring-ass conversations being held by the remaining characters.
Aesthetically speaking, the film is... slightly interesting to look at. A blue filter most of the time to stick with the "computer" style of the mood. However, some attempts at these crazy, surreal flaskbacks and dreams are annoyingly inferior and look like a 90's MTV music video. At least Kristin Bell and Christina Milian are nice to look at.
Speaking of the acting. It's surprisingly not bad. It's not really all that good either, but it's not as atrocious as you might expect. Bell is very much like a Sarah Michelle Gellar and the inclusion of "Lost's" Ian Somerhalder helps a great deal. The other characters play their parts well too. You may laugh at some of the things they say in all seriousness, but that isn't am affront to their acting ability, it's simply a symptom of the unbelievably cheesy screenplay.
I've already written more about this movie than it deserves. Please try to save your money. I really don't think even hard core "scare" fans are going to see the enjoyment of this movie. I would maybe urge you to rent the original Japanese version (Kairo) by director Kiyoshi Kurosawa. I haven't seen it, but it couldn't possibly be any worse.