36 user 19 critic

Pulse (1988)

PG-13 | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 4 March 1988 (USA)
A visiting son tries to warn his father and stepmother that they are being menaced by a living and intelligent pulse of electricity that moves from house to house and terrorizes the residents therein.




Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A babysitting uncle tells his charges three horror stories--about a killer witch, Little Red Riding Hood and a werewolf, and a story about "Goldi Lox" and the three bears.

Director: Jeffrey Delman
Stars: Scott Valentine, Nicole Picard, Matt Mitler
Fantasy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A demonic wizard challenges a modern-day computer programmer to a battle of technology vs. sorcery, with the programmer's girlfriend as the prize.

Directors: David Allen, Charles Band, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Jeffrey Byron, Richard Moll, Leslie Wing
Mutant (1984)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Two brothers discover that the residents of a small Southern town are being infected by a form of toxic waste, turning them into blood-ravenous zombies.

Directors: John 'Bud' Cardos, Mark Rosman
Stars: Wings Hauser, Bo Hopkins, Jody Medford
The Nest (1988)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Horrifying shocker as a biological experiment goes haywire when meat-eating mutant roaches invade an island community, terrorizing a peaceful New England fishing village and hideously ... See full summary »

Director: Terence H. Winkless
Stars: Robert Lansing, Lisa Langlois, Franc Luz
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Three women make an emergency landing on a planet plagued with a fatal disease, but are captured by dictator Overdog. Adventurer Wolff goes there to rescue them and meets Niki, the only ... See full summary »

Director: Lamont Johnson
Stars: Peter Strauss, Molly Ringwald, Ernie Hudson
Slugs (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Killer slugs on the rampage in a rural community.

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Stars: Michael Garfield, Kim Terry, Philip MacHale
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The water supply for a large city zoo becomes contaminated with PCP, and the animals go crazy and get loose.

Director: Franco Prosperi
Stars: Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, Ugo Bologna
The Rift (1990)
Action | Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

An experimental submarine, the "Siren II", is sent to find out what happened to the "Siren I", which has mysteriously disappeared in a submarine rift. Things go awry when they begin to find... See full summary »

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Stars: Jack Scalia, R. Lee Ermey, Ray Wise
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A female cop is gunned down and wrongly accused of using excessive force in a hostage rescue attempt. Maniac cop returns from the dead once more to seek revenge, destroying everthing and ... See full summary »

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Robert Davi, Robert Z'Dar, Caitlin Dulany
Fade to Black (1980)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A shy, lonely film buff embarks on a killing spree against those who browbeat and betray him, all the while stalking his idol, a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.

Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Dennis Christopher, Tim Thomerson, Gwynne Gilford
C.H.U.D. (1984)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A bizarre series of sudden disappearances on the streets of New York City seems to point toward something unsavory living in the sewers.

Director: Douglas Cheek
Stars: John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Lyle, a motorcycle champion is traveling the Mexican desert, when he find himself in the action radius of a time machine. So he find himself one century back in the past between rapists, ... See full summary »

Director: William Dear
Stars: Fred Ward, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote


Complete credited cast:
Old Man
Howard (as Myron D. Healy)
Terry Beaver ...
Greg Norberg ...


An intelligent pulse of electricity is moving from house to house. It terrorizes the occupants by taking control of the appliances, either killing them or causing them to wreck the house in an effort to destroy it. Then it travels along the power lines to the next house, and the terror restarts. Having thus wrecked one household in a quiet neighbourhood, the pulse finds itself in the home of a boy's divorced father whom he is visiting. It gradually takes control of everything, badly injures the stepmother, and traps father and son, who must fight their way out. Written by Cynan Rees <cynanrees@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In every second of every day, it improves our lives. And in a flash, it can end them. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danger haute tension  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$40,397 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Rockland's address in 1947 Kenwood, that is one year after Kenwood Electronics started. See more »


When David first arrives at the house a mic is visible for a moment above him and Ellen. The mic then pulls away being hidden by an archway. See more »


Old man: It ain't a thing, it's a signal...... a pulse, kinda like a voice. So what you've got to do is to get rid of anything in your house that might have ears to hear it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the Columbia Pictures logo is shown before the movie starts, there's the rather distinct sound of a flame burst which is dubbed into the soundtrack as the torch on the Columbia logo ignites. This is a reference to the Pulse in the film taking control. See more »


Featured in Phelous & the Movies: Pulselous (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Electric Doom
24 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Electricity is one of the elements that we rely even depend upon in our daily lives because most of what we use is electrical from watching TV, working on the computer, using the coffee maker, talking on a cell phone, you name it. But we also know it's not the most stable element as things have gone wrong or there have been fatal accidents. This causes us to live with the subconscious dread that the very things we rely upon can turn against us on a dime.

This film is an under the radar gem, it's also kinda another one of my childhood gems if you can believe it since this is one of the first horror films I've ever seen.

I really love the premise which I'll admit is a bit absurd, but I personally think it's a colorful and kinda cool premise, it's basically taking the old Haunted House motif but instead of ghosts it's electricity.

I even like that there is mystery to this strange phenomena, we never really know why the hell this is happening, is it some forgotten experiment by the government or is there some cyberterriorst faction that has invented a sophisticated techno virus to attack our technology and infiltrate residences; I'm not sure you guess is as good as mine. But to me I feel that just adds to the scares it really gets to that subconscious fear that what we can't control or even understand can kill us.

The pacing is solid it a steady build up but it does pay off in full. I really like the suspense where is a sort of paranoia were you are constantly afraid that the next appliance the character operate or get near will go haywire and hurt may'be kill them.

The music is very good I really like the end theme song which I thought sounded cool and is one of my favorite end themes, it just has this exciting techno feel to it which fits the film.

And the effects are great as their all practical, from how the electricity is animated and moves making it seem like some entity that's alive. We even see some nifty shots of circuit boards being burned, mercury melting and spreading, just all kinds of things fraking up. Though my favorite effect was with the TV where it was producing this moving lazer beam that just kept building up faster and faster.

However what makes this film work the most is in the protagonist whom are likable characters you actually care about. I really liked the son played by Joey Lawerence. Yeah I use to watch the show "Blossom" but this film was before his fame on the show, all I can say is good start. I really thought he was sympathetic as he's a kid still adjusting to his father's recent divorce and his new life in it.

Even like the father played by Cliff De Young and the foster mom by Roxane Hart both of them are some stereotypical disbelieving parents, I really love how this film breaks that tired cliché and actually has them on the kid's side. Both are rational people but their actually open minded because despite some disbelief even they both notice something not kosher with their appliances which defies logic. I'd personally behave the same way as both of them, with some of the stories we hear about what happened in the last two houses and witnessing how one appliance suddenly turns on without even pressing the on switch you have to wonder.

Even like the little drama as we see both the father and son are trying to have a working relationship and even love the final conflict at the end when both are helping each other from the bad situation. Which I found touching because their doing what any good father and son would do, that's something I don't see often in the horror genre.

Overall like any new electrical appliance this film is worth a spin, Pulse has a pulse.

Rating: 3 stars

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: