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If this tag line seems familiar to you, it's because it is. It's the famous tag line for "The Amityville Horror". Not much happened in this movie, and yet it's considered a classic. We never, in the movie, understood the full source of evil from Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining", and yet it's one of the most horrifying films of the 20th century. Better leave things unexplained, and you'll have a great time. Do the same with "Pulse" and you'll enjoy it to the max. I sure did. I always liked how the movie never explained the source of the evil electricity. It makes things scarier. Once I'll find out, it's like spoiling a movie's ending. As the tag line for "Amityville", one is wondered why the occupants of the house do not leave yet. Well, the answer's simple, and Cliff DeYoung's character clearly showed it in the movie. It's because there's a rational explanation behind all of this. And the house is not entirely paid, they have to sleep there, eat there, and... just a place to sit down and relax. Because if they leave, they will look like crazy people. That's all the movie is about. What makes sense? What is best to do? I keep myself on the edge of my seat seeing for myself as what will be coming up next. "Pulse" is indeed an undiscovered gem. What a shame.
I agree that some of the lines in this film are 'cheesy', but its been a long time since I've seen a film that actually gave me a good case of the creeps and this filled the bill. I'm sick of the blood, gore, sex and foul language. SOmetimes its okay, but gets painfully boring after awhile. I want to be able to be spooked or creeped out; to be able to walk away looking over my shoulder or wondering "what if" and this film was the last film ever made that gave me this feeling. Not many films do, because it seems blood and filth is what horror is supposed to be about. Well I like good old spooky stories, too and this film has what it takes to give you a good case of the creeps. If you like blood, gore and sex, then you probably wont like this film. But if you want to spend the next two weeks walking on the paranoid side, check it out!
Every so often comes an offbeat movie that begs to be seen over and over again, which is now possible because of cable and satellite. "Pulse" is such a movie. Don't over analyze it. Just get a lot of popcorn and whatever and sit forward on your seat, grip the arms of your chair, and immerse yourself in it. If you're looking for more of the same, similar feelings without it being a slasher movie (yuck!), add "Final Destination" to your viewing evening, another 10 in my book.... Of course, I'm talking about a different standard than great drama, I'm talking about a movie that makes you grip your seat and exclaim "Holy S..t!"....
inspired by this movie after seeing some of it for the first time when I was 3 years old (back in '93), I instantly fell in love with the plot. It was extremely thrilling. After just seeing this film again yesterday for the 2nd time in 13years, I was able to finally refresh my faded memory of this film, and make a better judgment on it. First things first.....I love the acting, and I love Cliff De Young! I think the choice of actors was a fabulous cast for this film. The idea is cool, since people don't always think of electricity and power-poles being potentially threatening. This film basically elaborates on the idea that electricity has a mind of its own. The story-line good, but a tad mysterious (maybe for the better). Some things are left unexplained and you will have questions at the end. That being said, no other decade than the 1980's could have pulled this film off as stylishly as it was! The special effects were good for the time, and not cheesy. The electricity moved realistically, and the "hypnotic-laser" -idea that struck out of the T.V was an awesome way of showing the Pulse trying to reach out. The music was a major- flavor-savor for this film. Great, intense, electric synth music with a suspenseful ominous low tone that accompanied build-up moments, which i personally love in a film score. **(See the scene with a bunch of phone lines that cuts right after a shot on a Real Estate sign "Nero Realtors") & also the music that plays with a heartbeat over the Kilowatthour meter, towards the end. -This is what i mean by "low tone"). Excellent opening and ending credit-music as well, especially the ending! Makes you wish there was a soundtrack available. For a rare movie about electricity that builds tension and suspense, makes this film one to be watched over and over. I will always hold this movie as one of my all-time favs. I'll give it *** out of ****, thumbs up for "good and worth seeing again and again". I'd like to see IMDb's rating go up to at least a 6.0 for this movie. I think 5.0 too low, based on IMDb's standards. WATCH THIS ONE! NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT! It definitely deserves a sequel or pseudo-sequel someday, but not another damn horrid remake please!!! .......... Don't watch the new PULSE (2006)....has nothing to do with this, not a sequel, and totally sucks compared to the 1988 film of the same title.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Young boy David (a winning performance by Joey Lawrence of the TV show
"Blossom") is spending the week with his estranged, hard-working father
Bill (the always solid Cliff De Young) and new stepmother Ellen (a fine
Roxanne Hart). David notices that the electricity in the house has
taken on a lethal and malevolent life of its own, but can't convince
either his dad or stepmom that something's amiss.
Writer/director Paul Golding makes this fantastic premise seem fairly credible and extremely chilling by carefully evoking a thoroughly plausible everyday mundane world that's ripped violently asunder by a bizarre and inexplicable phenomenon (Golding's stubborn refusal to provide some kind of valid explanation for why the electricity is acting up adds a truly eerie and unnerving ambiguity to the picture). Moreover, Golding successfully creates believable and sympathetic characters and offers a gradual build-up of skin-crawling tension which culminates in a positively harrowing and nerve-wracking climax with all the electricity going dangerously haywire. Peter Lyons Collister's exceptional macro photography, Jay Ferguson's shuddery score, and the first-rate special effects further contribute to the film's sterling quality. Kudos are also in order for the uniformly ace acting; veteran character actor Charles Tyner has a colorfully quirky supporting part as a nutty old paranoid electrician and Robert Romanus (Mike Damone in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High") pops up in a cool cameo as a smooth-talking TV repairman. Spooky and intense, "Pulse" rates as a real nifty little sci-fi/horror sleeper.
Late one night, Bill and his girlfriend Ellen were woke up by their
neighbour who was yelling at the top of his lungs inside of his home.
When the cops arrived, the man was dead and the house had wires hanging
from the ceiling and the walls. We are then introduced to Bill's son
David who is staying with Bill and his new wife for the summer. Pretty
soon, David begins to see weird things happening to the television set
in the house. The picture goes in and out, and it turns on and off on
it's own. similar strange things happen to other appliances around the
house as well. It quickly becomes apparent to both son and father that
something is not right, and that an evil electrical "Pulse" is growing
within their house.
I got Pulse in the horror section, but it's more of a sci-fi/thriller flick. And a pretty good one at that! The plot of "killer appliances" may sound ridiculous, but 'Pulse' does a good job at making it realistic enough for a full length film. We see that the characters are in actual danger because of the electrical force, and that the pulse can cause serious occurrences such as gas leaks and water burns. The acting was a positive, Joseph Lawrence (who was at a very young age) did a great job in the lead. Cliff De Young and Roxanne Hart were great as well. Some of the special effects were effective as well. 'Pulse' takes us inside of the television at one point as shows us all of the wiring. It's done well.
The bodycount is pretty much non-existent, therefore 'Pulse' isn't a much of horror film. It's an effective sci-fi/thriller film that is worth a look if you come across it.
This one wasn't so much frightening as it was an interesting attempt at a horror/sci-fi mix. I think the script needed a little juking, a few more twists and turns and genuinely suspenseful moments, before I could recommend it. There was a little too much macro-photography of wires melting, and not enough attention paid to the characters (one of the major ones is inexplicably written out of the story before the climax.) I never thought I'd say this, but Joey Lawrence actually gives a good performance, and there are some nice, subtle moments-- particularly some strong observations about family. I was never scared, but the ambiguity & unusual premise kept me interested. I think POLTERGEIST was much more effective in creating horror in inanimate objects. Still, a good try. 6/10.
Good, above average sci-fi / horror / thriller makes the most out of a
fairly unique premise. Ever likable Cliff De Young plays divorced
father Bill, whose son David (Joey Lawrence of future 'Blossom' fame)
comes to stay with Bill and his new wife Ellen (Roxanne Hart) for a
while. Unfortunately, this happens while a pulse of electricity - which
seems to have become some sort of sentient being - is out to terrorize
and destroy home owners in the neighborhood.
"Pulse" offers a fresh change of pace from the slasher films that often took predominance in the 1980s. It's written and directed by a man named Paul Golding, who does a pretty good job. Some viewers can take issue with the concept, or the fact that it's never sufficiently "explained", while others will appreciate the ambiguity of the plot. Assisted by a top notch crew, Golding is successful at combining a number of genuine jolts with some traditional suspense. There is some gore but not enough for more squeamish viewers to truly get upset about. Spooky music by Jay Ferguson and excellent special effects by Richard O. Helmer are heavy assets.
The cast is believable and engaging. For a while, Bill may frustrate some people by being one of those Stubborn Dummies common to film, but he's not an overbearing example of this type of character. The lovely Hart, and young Lawrence, are similarly appealing. Solid support is provided by Lawrences' kid brother Matthew (as a neighborhood child) and top character actor Charles Tyner (as a creepy old man who seems to know the score). Other familiar faces in smaller roles are Robert Romanus of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" fame (as a TV repairman), and Myron Healey ("The Incredible Melting Man") as a helpful old neighbor. Look for Tim Russ ('Star Trek: Voyager') in a bit as a cop.
Overall, a solid shocker, that appears to offer a comment that we take our modern conveniences for granted, and that they can strike back and kick us in the ass.
Eight out of 10.
I wonder why The Big Screen Savers Movie on TechTV hasn't picked this
film up yet! It's a cool tech thriller. I catch it on MoviePlex and HBO sometimes. It usually shows up when I'm
really, really, really bored. I'm glad it only comes on once in a while, because it would spoil the
thrill of the "evil" pulse electricity destroying a whole house. Then
the movie would become boring and repeated for me. I love the stop-motion animation of electricity destroying circuit
boards, but then again, I'm a tech fan. The light in the TV's cathrode
ray tube scanning over things like a deadly laser can prove to be quite
creepy. I actually think I can feel the metallic intense heat from the
electricity sometimes. Also, the score and the end credits are almost as fun as the movie
itself! (The background switches from circuit boards to city scapes on
When we are little, they tell us not to mess with electricity, but they
don't tell us what to do if electricity messes with us. In Pulse, a
young boy, David (Joey Lawrence), finds himself powerless against a
malevolent electrical force (of possibly extraterrestrial origin) that
travels from house to house causing fatal accidents and fires.
The premise might sound a little far-fetched, but thanks to everyone involved opting to play it completely straight, the film comes across as a very credible techno horror/thriller, with Lawrence putting in a fine central performance as the boy who struggles to convince his father (Cliff De Young) of the truth.
Director Paul Golding keeps the action moving at a fairly measured pace, gradually building the tension up to the inevitable 'humans versus electricity' finale, but he also includes a couple of exciting set pieces along the wayDavid almost coming a cropper in the garage and the scalding of his stepmother Ellen (Roxanne Hart) in the showeras well as delivering some impressive macro photography of melting circuits, fuses and wires, and a cool synth score, all of which makes Pulse a nifty little '80s treat.
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