Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One Missed Call

This is the worst Japanese remake yet- yes, it's even worse than Pulse. The original, "Chakusin ari" spawned 2 sequels, a made for TV movie, and now the American remake. Bare in mind, this was all within five years. I hope Chakusin ari was better than One Missed Call, because I could not imagine this piece of horror dung leading to sequels and remakes.

It takes advantage of that new-fangled technology- the cell phone. The premise is simple. You get a phone call and hear your own death. The catch is that the phone calls are coming from other characters- after they are already deceased. The voice mails are dated from the future, signifying the day and time when the recipients will die. So in essence, dead characters are calling (via the future) and leaving voice mails of the deaths of the people they are calling. I hope it's not just me, but none of this adds up. It's like there's just no concept of any sort of continuity.

Let's add into this muddled a mess a detective (played by Edward Burns) dead set on believing this supernatural nonsense that he does everything he can to protect the main character, Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossaman), from...her phone. Wait, it gets even better. Let's also throw in an exorcism on national television.

One Missed Call follows the Japanese tradition of the vengeful spirit. This theme was tackled so well in Ju On and Ringu (The Grudge and The Ring). Apparently spirits don't adapt very well to technology. I think that this may have been one of the difficult aspects of this movie. In the Ring, the spirit travels via a VHS tape- a medium already out of date by the time the movie was made. This made spirit seem older and creepier. With these spirits zipping around through cell-phones, it loses this mystique.

Don't worry about the movie not making much rational sense- the characters do a fine job of saying exactly what they're thinking, and exactly what's happening. Watch it with your eyes closed and you won't miss a thing. And even if you have trouble following it, that's okay too. The last fifteen minutes throw any resemblance of reality out the window as the movie descends into idiotic randomness. I will say one good thing about the movie, though. The ring-tone they used was creepy as hell. I need to get it.



Anonymous said...

I had the misfortune of having to see this movie (long story). I walked in 30 minutes late, but didn't feel like I'd missed anything. I wish I'd missed more of this horrible piece of crap. Did anyone ever try actually answering their phone instead of just freaking out until it went to voicemail?


Harry said...

interesting you raise this point. Even when characters would pick it up while it was still ringing, it went straight to voicemail. I think the creepy ringtone was the voicemail notice after all (especially since the calls hadn't even been placed yet? or maybe they had but not by who was calling? Sorry, I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.