Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pulse (2001)

Two separate groups of people discover a mysterious website. Kudo Michi is introduced to it when a co-worker casually commits suicide while she's in his apartment and finds images of it on a CD of his. Ryosuke stumbles upon the site when connecting to his new internet and sees videos of people acting strangely. Both people struggle to find out about the website and what it means.

Pulse is a strange movie that doesn't feel as familiar as others in its genre. The two parallel stories are a little odd because they don't have anything to do with each other save the website until extremely late into the movie. Both main characters are nice, well meaning people. Kudo wants to know why her coworker committed suicide and in such on odd way, leaving behind a black grease mark. Ryosuke wants to know more about the website that seemed almost like snuff films. He understandable shut off in terror after a man put a plastic bag over his head. He befriends a woman named Harue who drastically changes since he introduced her to the site.

The film brings up the fear of death and the possibility of contacting the dead. Harue is one of the people that can't handle being faced with her own mortality, but becomes comfortable with it when she's convinced she won't be alone as she feared. The situation worsens until it's a complete apocalypse situation. I didn't completely enjoy it because this aspect seemed to come out of nowhere. We follow these two characters' stories and then suddenly Tokyo is deserted. The film also moves glacially slow and didn't have enough scares or interesting events to keep my interest throughout the movie. It started off so well with unnerving images, but couldn't keep up the momentum for me.

Pulse is a unique film in it's approach, tone, and story telling. The concept of the dead returning to create a world wide situation is interesting, but the actual story lost me somewhere along the way. There are interesting concepts and images, including this red duct tape that somehow denotes the involvement of the dead and the stains left on the wall by the dead. However, they didn't seem to connect and weren't explained at all. They came off as a not well thought out collection of unsettling images. It might be a cultural reference or concept that I'm not familiar with. I can't say I recommend it.

My rating: 2/5 fishmuffins

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