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Reviews & Ratings for
Pulse More at IMDbPro »

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119 out of 153 people found the following review useful:

Not so horrible for a Saturday afternoon

Author: tyger97 from SE United States
13 August 2006

We went to see PULSE yesterday afternoon (got to the theater too late for DESCENT). I have not seen the original KAIRO for comparison. So, it's not the worst movie I've ever seen, and not the best. Yes, it was slow to start and get to the point. But IMO it had a creepy, dark atmosphere (god, if I lived there I'd want to commit suicide in any case), the visuals weren't bad, and it had a few good scares. Unfortunately, it also depended on VOLUME to enhance the scare. If you're more of a gore fan, then it's probably not the movie for you. The movie may not be worth the price of a ticket, but I think it's worth a rental. Eh, I'm just your average moviegoer and don't watch movies to analyze them to death. I even liked The Grudge. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

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136 out of 225 people found the following review useful:

strange...but not that bad (minor spoiler)

Author: bigstuff2020 from United States
26 May 2006

I had just went to see a pre-screening of pulse last night, and I must say that it was not all that bad compared to recent horror films. The main problem with pulse is that in trying to be original it borrows from other films. I understand that this is an American version of a film from Japan. The film just reminded me of too many other films for me really to appreciate it. Once again this was a pre-screening and I am 100% sure that parts of the version I have seen will be changed. The other problem with pulse is that it is very hard to follow at times, and you are left to interpret the movie in your own way. The deaths are also very cheesy, and not really that creative. I am a huge horror fan and I was really interested to see this film because of the trailer that I very much enjoyed. The movie gets a boost in points for breaking away from the normal horror films we have been seeing as of late. Another thing that I had to pick at was the mediocre acting of the main star Kristen Bell. She just did not give a great performance...the rest of the cast with the exception of Ziagler give somewhat good performances. To continue on the scares were another part that bothered me..once again we see a pg13 movie relying on loud noises and crashes to make the audience jump...but on a brighter side there are a few scenes (the laundry room scene, and the car attack scene towards the end) that were actually pretty scary. One last thing the ending is not all that great, it is one of those things that you either love or hate...the audience at our screening mainly hated it, I will assume it will be changed come the release date. Overall "Pulse" is a decent horror film which is a step above the horror movies that I have seen as of late, just do not be surprised if you are left scratching your head after this film is over.

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101 out of 173 people found the following review useful:

If You Have Nothing Better To Do

Author: levimom from United States
11 August 2006

We just came home from seeing Pulse. Sorry friends, this is one film you won't be sorry you missed. Slow, boring, and lots of loose ends. No thrills, chills or characters you can care about. You are presented with a group of close friends -- yet no one seems concerned or even to notice that one of their buddies hasn't been around, anywhere, for a few days. No one seems to care when his fate is discovered. For some reason, all the college students seem to reside in apartments with black walls and leave food scattered all over the place to rot. I'm guessing the props dept had a lot of bugs around and wanted to use them up. Better to wait until this film shows up on cable at 3 am and you have nothing better to do before you watch this one.

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113 out of 198 people found the following review useful:

Same old predictable schlop

Author: mikey7108088 from United States
14 August 2006

Here's another in a long, long line of predictable horror movies aimed at teens.

Like so many tired teen horror films before it, we get a semi-interesting premise that is never given the chance to take off the ground. We get a tried-and-beaten-to-the-ground formula that's becoming nearly a parody of itself. "Pulse" has the laziest of horror film ambitions: an endless series of characters making slow, deliberate walks to some sort of random objective (in this movie, it is usually a computer screen) with the steadily rising score beneath their paces. And then, the orchestra crashes, the sound effects are blasted at dangerously high levels, and something (ghost, corpse, animal, landlady, Dick Cheney, etc.) bursts out at the character. Over and over and over. If the characters aren't doing that, they are setting up an opportunity to do so. Again and again and again. Such payoffs are not payoffs. They are sudden, very loud noises that explode suddenly after rising, slightly-softer noise.

It's tough to tell whether the director is a cookie-cutter hack emulating everything that's been released in the last five years, or if he is just being ordered by the studio to emulate everything that's been released in the last five years. Either way, "Pulse" is a dreary movie with nothing to say and little thrills to share. Mostly, it's a take-off of "The Ring"...we get the always-overcast urban setting. A Naomi Watts look-alike as our lead. A lonely piano hits nearly the same keys as the above-mentioned film. And we get the quick cuts of single scenes. Instead of the mysterious video used in "The Ring", we get equally mysterious images in computer screens. At times, it has the disorienting sensation of watching a film student's class project titled "How To Make Creepy Images Like What Was Used In That Video In The Ring".

Throughout the movie, characters go through the motions as if they've just been locked in a room watching a marathon of awful teen horror films. They laugh, they grieve, they act confused, they act scared, they act concerned, blah, blah, blah.

A plot summary for those interested: an internet virus is rapidly spreading across a college campus. Basically, ghostly images appear on your computer screen, and then at some point in the near future, a ghostly image will sneak up on you and take what appears to be your soul. Thus, you are left very sad to the point of being despondent. After that, you off yourself. Or you just spontaneously combust into ash. Either way.

The better looking of our leads manage to doge the virus, unlike literally the rest of civilization, despite the fact that they are more immersed in the virus than anyone else. Funny how that works. Whether or not they succeed in stopping this ghost virus (if you're the screenwriter there's no need to explain anything beyond "ghost virus" when all you're writing are set-ups for characters to peek slowly into things) is for you to find out. If you choose to find out, God bless you. Please keep in mind that it is a real bitch getting your ticket refunded at the average multiplex.

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97 out of 170 people found the following review useful:

Altogether awful.

Author: platonickei from United States
24 August 2006

I am sure you are all familiar with how a good book can be ruined by its movie rendition. Well, this is a perfect example of how a good movie can be ruined by its American remake. Sure there are advantages to Hollywood-ification; take a look at the difference in special effects for 'The Ring' and 'The Grudge'. But, in turn, what is then sacrificed is quality in story and plot development, case and point being the American 'Ring 2' involving an attack from possessed deer. Yes... deer.

The movie that inspired this one, 'Kairo' (aka 'Pulse'), had a very complex plot line with real suspense, real attachment of audience feeling, and real take-home messages. The storyline for the new 'Pulse' is something a child could have come up with and is highly reminiscent of a movie released a few years back - 'Dot com'. The whole direction and point of the American version is so far distant from that of the original Japanese that I have no idea why they didn't just separate themselves from it in the first place. Basically, whoever wrote the script had just seen 'Kairo' and thought to himself, "Hey, some of those scenes were awesome! And the way they did this and that? Wow." Twenty minutes later, the script for an 'original' Pulse was created where certain events were directly copied but liberated from all that 'plot' baggage.

Honestly, I cannot find an ounce of merit for this film. Not suspenseful, not scary in the least, and even the effects failed to impress. The action felt rushed, the logic behind everything abandoned for the sake of a 'just go with it', and the message dumbed down so far that even the densest of movie-goers can get smacked across the face with it.

I am not preaching that you should watch the original; just, please, for the sake of America's general intelligence level, do not consider this movie good or clever or inventive. Or good. Thanks.

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51 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

The story really killed this movie

Author: Dave (freaky_dave) from United States
14 August 2006

I went to see Pulse knowing it was PG13, so I didn't expect much gore, but couldn't the writer of this story at least have done something more with it?

Pulse is a movie about a hacker who releases a strange computer virus which immediately affects computers everywhere as well as cell phones and even TV screens. We soon find out that the virus is really the dead who have found a way to return to the living world. What they want is the life force of every living being. So it is up to our heroes to try and find a way to stop them before they can consume the entire world.

That's the plot which in my opinion was a rather clever idea. Too bad that the story makes very little sense and is filled with implausibilities that go against the very story that the writer and director were trying to get across. I won't explained these because of the spoilers that would be involved. Of course there aren't many spoilers anyway, since the commercials give much of it away.

The acting was decent, and some of the visuals were nice, but there is very little suspense. This is more of a simple shock film like so many other horror movies that have been filling our theaters for about three years. There is one horror movie that is the exception, and that is The Descent which was released last week. If you want to see one of the best horror movies in the past couple years, go see that one instead and forget about Pulse.

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29 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

A Good Idea Needing Better Execution

Author: w00f from The Flaming Wreckage
11 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I haven't seen the original Japanese film, "Kairo," upon which "Pulse" is based. There was enough here to make me want to see the original, though, because the central ideas in this film are very interesting. I suspect that much of the core of the original was lost in translating the story into a summer film for an American audience.

The essential element of the story here is the idea that the technology that was created to connect us and make our lives more interesting is equally capable of sapping our individuality and will to live a real life, as opposed to giving ourselves up to thing like the Internet and cell phones. These things are meant to augment an already full existence, but when they become the most important things in our lives, we soon lose ourselves entirely. The ghosts in this movie are what is left of a person who has abandoned themselves to technology. They can "only exist where there's a signal," as the movie puts it, because when there is no signal, there is no life for such people. They rely on the real lives of others to give substance to their own artificial, inhuman existence, in other words. This is a powerful idea, and I wish that "Pulse" had taken more care in developing it.

Instead, "Pulse" touches on this theme from time to time but sacrifices much of its importance to become a summer horror flick targeted to an 18-24 year old demographic without giving its audience much credit for its intelligence... and that's too bad, because the film winds up doing the very thing that the story should be a warning against doing. It sells its soul in the end.

That's not to say there aren't some good scares here. There are certainly some very effective scenes in the film that will raise the hairs on a few necks. Considering that there is absolutely no gore anywhere to be seen in "Pulse," it does manage to frighten viewers with some potent ghostly images. Horror-savvy audiences will recognize elements from both "The Ring" and "Night of the Living Dead" at work here. Unlike the latter horror classic, however, "Pulse" tries too hard to shift between the plight of its central group of characters and the demise of civilization at large, diluting both and leaving me wishing that it had focused on one or the other.

The acting in "Pulse" is nothing special. None of the characters ever fully develops. Other than the special effects nightmare that happens to them, one never has the chance to feel any connection to them before they evaporate in a puff of black ash. Considering how much the main theme of the movie rests upon the idea of someone's losing their will to live, that's a big problem. It would have been much more effective to show the transformation of people who actually have lives into depressed shells than what happens in "Pulse," where we see people who live vicariously through computers stop living altogether. There isn't much contrast between the two states; it's all a matter of which side of the computer screen a character is sitting on at any given moment.

Still, if you're up for a couple of quick and effective scares, there's something to be said for "Pulse." It could have been so much more, though, with just a bit more work. Ah well. I'll have to see if "Kairo" did any better.

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21 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as you might think

Author: Florin from Romania
25 November 2006

I've seen the trailer for this movie some time ago, and I decided to watch it. It's one of those horror movies with eerie sets and shots. They chose Bucharest, Romania as a main location, so I found familiar places in it. The campus featured in the film is the one from "Politehnica" University.

The movie itself is well written and has a coherent plot. Of course, there are times when you can predict the next turn of events. But this does not happen very often.

The special effects are OK, not dated or something. They integrate very well in the unfolding of the plot. The soundtrack is also good, many low frequency noises, kind of electric ones (reminds me of "The Ring").

For a remake of a J horror movie, this one does a pretty good job. Worth watching if you have a couple of hours to spare.

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23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Commentary from a former Japan resident

Author: from United States
18 December 2006

For what its worth, I enjoyed this movie. I tend to rent all B-movie DVD's from my local Blockbuster (big plug for the movie pass). Despite what many of the folks have posted on this site, I can tell you that I have seen The Grudge, The Ring, The Darkness, and many other Japanese remakes. I also have lived in Japan for many years and (as much as westerners can), I claim an understanding of their film-making. I thought that this movie was well done, but I cannot in good faith recommend any other remakes. Unfortunately, there is generally an element lost in translation. Luckilly, IMO, Pulse does not lose that and manages to keep its Japanese nature very well intact in its U.S. translation. Kudos to the producers.

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31 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

Thank God I had a girl to make out with during this film...

Author: nonpareilcloud from United States
15 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I happened to go to Universal Citywalk (Universal Studios, Hollywood) to watch this film. That means I actually paid an additional dollar (11.00 ticket) plus the ten dollars parking. This isn't even factoring in the fact that I was on a date (Yet another occasion in which Tom Leykis is dead on). Essentially I wasted nearly triple what it would have cost me had I had the sense to watch this at the local theater, let alone avoiding it altogether.

This movie is utter garbage. The actor Samm Levine was in the theater watching the movie, perhaps curious to see the audience's reaction (He played the character Tim in the film). The girl I was with spotted him, having watched "Freaks and Geeks", a program I haven't seen, but a large number of people were whispering about the fact that he was there.

"Isn't that guy in the movie?" "Hey, it's that Freaks and Geeks guy." The guy walked out of the movie, after people were booing as the credits scrolled, and said to his friends, "Seriously, what kind of idiot would agree to be in a film like that?" The sarcasm was clear. His entourage found it quite amusing. Apparently, he realized that the script sucked, and agreed to be in the film for the paycheck. Good thing he isn't a better known actor, or he might have actually been attacked by people wanting their money back for this waste of time.

Having virtually no character development, this film depicts the story of a internet virus that apparently has the ability to manifest itself in the physical world. Whether this is simply a virus, or supernatural phenomenon is never clearly explained. It is quite possible the virus simply happens to appear in a form which typically causes teenage girls to fling popcorn in fright.

At a certain point, we learn that the virus, or 'PULSE', is only able to cause manifestations of these creatures through electronic devices, or hot-spots. So, for example, a creature could attack you if you were simply walking anywhere within cellphone coverage. (This is never clearly explained, it is stated in the film that cellphones act as conduits through which the creatures can manifest, yet apparently they are able to appear in any area covered by a cell satellite, yet leaving cellphones behind has some sort of beneficial effect...) Aside from the fact that half the theater left halfway through the movie, I continued to watch it, why... I cannot tell you clearly. Perhaps it was the same reason people slow down on the freeway to view car accidents.

I cannot think of a simple redeeming quality about this film. Sorry to spoil it for the slightly perverted, or any fans of celeb porn sites, who might perhaps be hoping to see Veronica Mars show some skin, but she barely exposes her neck during the film.

One of my favorite moments in the film was the scene in which Dexter (Ian Somerhalder) addresses Mattie (Kristen Bell) by her first name, regardless of the fact that she never introduced herself.

Oh, by the way, these rules, regarding the presence of the creatures, or whatever you want to call them, is not clearly explained until the end of the film. The only thing revealed at the beginning is that Red Duct Tape repels the creatures. I guess you aren't supposed to think about this, because following this course of logic established in the movie: 1: The creatures exist within the virtual world, and in the real world in areas under the reach of wireless internet access and cellular transmission.

2: The creatures are repelled by Red Duct Tape, which blocks the frequency at which they exist.

THEREFORE Conclusion: Red Duct Tape blocks cellphone signals.

Someone alert medical institutions nationwide, because this movie has just revealed the solution to those annoying people using their cellphones in hospitals, which disrupt medical equipment.

All we need to do is coat the buildings in Red Duct Tape.

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