Pulse (2005)

Starring: Kumiko Aso, Koyuki, Kurume Arisaka, Masatoshi Matsuo, Shinji Takeda
Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Run Time: 118 minutes

DVD Features:

  • Available Subtitles: English, Spanish

  • Available Audio Tracks: Japanese (Unknown Format)

  • The featurette “The Making of Pulse”

  • Trailer



It’s the end of the world but not as we expected it to be.

People all over the world are simply disappearing into thin air. Some supernatural force is involved as a group of friends discover when one of them, a computer boffin, commits suicide. He leaves behind a disc which contains disturbing images of what appears to be ghosts. Soon all kinds of unexplained, scary stuff happens.

So far, so very much The Ring. But the 2001 Japanese horror movie Pulse (original title: Kairo) is a genuinely creepy albeit often incoherent affair. Like most of the Japanese horror movies which have been remade by Hollywood in recent years Pulse is low on gore and high on spooky atmospherics. Details of the plot will probably escape you, but Pulse is an effective horror movie and unlike most Japanese movies of this sort doesn’t have any spooky Japanese school girls in them . . .

THE DISC: Audio commentary and some trailers for some other interesting titles from Magnolia Pictures. No English soundtrack dubbing, but obviously there are subtitles. Picture and sound quality is acceptable (ghostly sound effects are often effectively utilised).

WORTH IT? Part meditation on the existential loneliness of Japanese society, part horror/sci-fi movie Pulse is often incomprehensible and the net effect is like being caught in a feverish dream.

RECOMMENDATION: A movie which the producers of Doom (which I recently had to sit through on DVD) should have done well to emulate. (Unsurprisingly a Hollywood remake is in the works.) Check it out.



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