The press notes for Pulse would have you believe it predates many of the "J-horror" films that have been remade for American audiences, but that doesn't seem to be true. It predates the U.S. remakes, yes, but not the originals, and it definitely borrows a trick or two. In the Ju-On/Grudge-style story line, a group of young people find one of their friends dead in his apartment and slowly realize that ghosts are entering the real world in contagious fashion. In the Ring-style story line, an awkward teen (Haruhiko Kato) finds that his computer keeps turning itself on and logging on to a Website that promises communication with the dead. The second half of the movie, in which it becomes clear the entire planet is being rather swiftly depopulated by evil spirits, is worth the buildup. But that buildup needs pruning and better explanations for what's happening. The trailer for Miramax's upcoming remake contains more exposition than the entirety of this film.
Now playing at a theater near you
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.