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  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
from Film Forum, 08/17/06

You can cross this one off your list too. Even though it stars Kristen Bell of TV's Vernonica Mars and Ian Somerhalder of TV's Lost, it looks like Pulse is just another cheap Hollywood remake of a popular foreign horror flick about otherworldly monsters attacking us through contemporary technology.

In the hands of an artist, this kind of thing might convey interesting and relevant observations about the destructive effects of dependence on machines. In the hands of most trend-hopping entertainers, it's just empty sensationalism. This adaptation of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 Japanese horror film Kairo appears to be a wasted effort.

"The movie follows the blueprint of the original," says David DiCerto (Catholic News Service), "but, despite some creepy effects, provides too few frights throughout its incoherent plot and lacks the hauntingly understated eeriness of the Asian version."

Marcus Yoars (Plugged In) says, "Familiar methods. Familiar story line … . And to top off this poor man's mix, Pulse frequently fails to keep good ol' fashioned logic within the confines of its own tale." Yoars also cautions readers about the "language, sex, violence and, well, horror that, while mild for the genre, still manages to crawl off the movie screen and toward unsuspecting victims."

Mainstream critics aren't scared … or entertained.