Post 1 of 12
Simon K Jones
Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683
- Title: Pulse
- Director: Jim Sonzero
- Cast: Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian
- Running time: 90 minutes
- Cert: 15 (UK)
- Release: 5th March
Pulse's premise can be summed up in a single sentence: What if wi-fi technology was a portal to hell? It really is that absurd.
Despite potentially rich topics such as the detrimental effect of technology on human interactions this works best if seen as tutorial detailing all the things you should avoid doing when making a horror movie. Cliched, predictable and unsympathetic characters – check. A nonsensical plot more concerned with supposed ‘frights’ than actually making sense – check. Generic and unrealistic dialogue – big check.
Primarily, however, Pulse serves as a warning about both the importance of the script and the dangers of unrestrained grading. The story is painfully slow, with very little actually happening during the movie. At a a short 90 minutes, it still manages to be tedious and takes far too long to explain itself, not helped by an eventual ‘revelation’ which is both anti-climactic and rather silly. The dialogue, meanwhile, sounds like old men trying to write for teenagers and completely undermines the efforts of the cast.
The movie has been graded to look like an Audi commercial, with a murky, desaturated, absurdly dark and high contrast image - fine for a two minute advert or music video, but it's remarkably difficult and dreary to watch for an entire feature film.
Other than a couple of inventive effects shots and a great cameo from the ever-dependable Brad Dourif, there's little to recommend in Pulse.
Some respite can be found in the extra features, which are competent if a little standard. The cast and crew are enthusiastic, displaying a clear vision and many good intentions, which makes the final movie’s failure all the more unfortunate.
Director Sonzero’s commentary is rather dry, declaring “this is an interesting scene” at every opportunity, despite on-screen evidence to the contrary. It will be interesting to see what Sonzero can do when he isn't crippled by one of Wes Craven's reject scripts.
The documentaries are light but entertaining, with a good selection of interviews and some genuinely innovative behind-the-scenes greenscreen footage involving Kristen Bell and lots of hands. Rounding out the extras is an unintentionally amusing look at ‘real’ electronic phenomena featuring various paranormal investigators talking seriously while blurry, pixellated images move slowly (and ominously!) across the screen.
You’re not going to find anything particularly new or revelatory here but it’s a solid set of features that would be perfectly satisfactory were they accompanying a better movie.
Win a copy!!
You’re no doubt hugely excited about getting hold of Pulse, so we’ve teamed up with Paramount again to offer a few freebies, especially for all you FXhomers.
If you’d like to win a copy of this unique movie, send an email to COMPETITION NOW CLOSED with the answer to the following question:
The human pulse can drop to 40 BPM (beats per minute) during sleep. What is the average BPM of an adult when they’re awake?
Rules and regs: It wouldn't be a proper competition without some rules! So here we go: 1. Pulse is a horror film, so unfortunately you have to be 15 or over to enter. Tell us your date of birth in your email, or else. 2. These DVDs are region 2, so make sure your DVD player can handle it. 3. Don't forget to include your home mail address, as DVDs can't be sent by email.