Adamantium Bullet

31 Days Of Horror: PULSE

For the next 31 days, we here at Adamantium Bullet will be reviewing one horror flick a day leading up to Halloween. Each one will be horrific, terrifying, chilling, pulse-pounding, or flat-out awful. All endured in honor of the season. Expect spoilers. Welcome to Adamantium Bullet’s 31 DAYS OF HORROR.

In today's episode of 31 DAYS OF HORROR, J Bryant and AngieBee check out the cyber spookfest PULSE starring Kristen Bell (VERONICA MARS), Ian Somerhalder (THE VAMPIRE DIARIES), Christina Milian (TORQUE), Octavia Spencer (THE HELP), and Brad Dourif (CHILD'S PLAY).


PLOT: Imagine our wireless technologies made a connection to a world beyond our own. Imagine that world used that technology as a doorway into ours. Now, imagine the connection we made can't be shut down. When you turn on your cell phone or log on to your e-mail, they'll get in, you'll be infected, and they'll be able to take from you what they don't have any more -- life.

BODY COUNT: 9, maybe 11. After having their souls sucked out by the pasty ghost RING people, Josh (Jonathan Tucker) hangs himself, Stone (Rick Gonzalez) is absorbed into his dorm room wall, Isabelle (Christina Milian) dissolves, and Tim (Samm Levine) and Dr. Waterson (Ron Rifkin) kill themselves off-screen.

A random guy shoots himself in the head, another random dives off a tower, yet another crashes his car and dissolves, and a cat dies of starvation. I’m not sure exactly how to count the plane that crashes in the third act. Let’s just say a lot people die during that bit and even more die when the ghost virus thing goes worldwide and causes mass suicides.

The two “maybe” kills are the old librarian who up and disappears for a cheap scare early on and Dexter (Ian Somerhalder) who survives in the final film, but dies in the alternate ending found on the DVD/Blu-Ray.

BEST KILL: Stone being absorbed into his dorm room wall was pretty messed up.

SIGNATURE MOMENT: Brad Dourif’s cameo as the “You’re doooooomed!!!” guy was fun and serves as an easy marker for the exact moment PULSE stops being a clone of THE RING and turns into a TERMINATOR-flavored clone of THE RING with bits of WHITE NOISE, THE GRUDGE, and even SILENT HILL thrown in. Have I mentioned this is a remake of the 2001 Japanese horror pic KAIRO? Not sure if it is a good remake, being that I’ve not seen the original, but it is a remake.

IDIOT MOMENTS: If red tape is what keeps the pasty ghost RING people at bay, then why does every character in this flick keep leaving doors open to rooms covered with the stuff? If the pasty ghost RING people can get to you through electronic devices, then why doesn’t everybody just unplug? If everybody terrified of getting their souls sucked out by the pasty ghost RING people, then why does everybody insist on wandering around in the dark with no flashlights, torches, or even f*cking candles? If everybody knows that pasty ghost RING people are using the internet to get to you, then why does everybody insist on clicking on the mysterious “Do you want to meet a ghost?” link? If everyone knows something weird is going on at Josh’s apartment, then why does everyone insist on going there to investigate alone??

USELESS KNOWLEDGE: PULSE was written by Wes Craven who set to direct at one point, but bailed out, which led to it going into turnaround. Jim Sonzero ultimately came onboard to direct, only to see the film cancelled again by Bob Weinstein who considered it to be too similar to THE RING. I’m not sure what exactly convinced Weinstein to resume production, but a solid guess would be Kristen Bell’s intense hotness.

Kirsten Dunst was set to star originally and was supposed to shoot before returning to the SPIDER-MAN 2 set. (IMDB)

Two direct-to-video sequels - AFTERLIFE and INVASION - were released in 2008. Both were written and directed by Joel Soisson, writer/director of THE PROPHECY: UPRISING and THE PROPHECY: FORSAKEN.

Posted by J. Bryant

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