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Pulse (Unrated)
DVD disk
12.07.2006 By: Quigles
Pulse (Unrated) order
Director:
Jim Sonzero

Actors:
Kristen Bell
Ian Somerhalder
Christina Milian

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After the suicide of her boyfriend, Mattie Webber begins to notice a terrifying evil seemingly coming from his computer.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
NOTE: I've never seen the Japanese original. Don't expect any comparisons. And just a second note for people only interested in what's "unrated", head over to the extras section.

I might've been the only one, but I thought PULSE looked pretty badass from the trailers. To me, it seemed like what WHITE NOISE should've been. But then the critics let all hell loose in their unanimous attempt to lash out at it. "It can't be that bad," I thought. "There's no way." And I was right. It isn't that bad... but damn, it's still pretty shitty. Everything that looked so cool in the trailer only looks that cool because of the editing, whereas in the film in just sort of looks bland and unexciting. It's not necessarily horrendous though (laughable at time, but not horrendous).

PULSE's biggest faults fall into these categories: boredom and stupidity (nothing sounds dumber than, "Oh dear God! Escape the wi-fi connection! It lets them in!"). Even though the film doesn't usually contain both aspects at once, it almost always contains one or the other. Stupidity I can handle, especially in a horror film, but there's no excuse for boredom. Movies like this are meant to entertain - if they can't do that, they automatically fail. Hence, PULSE pretty much fails at even a most basic of levels.

However, there are also two things that boost up its watchability. Let's get the easiest out the way first... Kristen Bell. She's hot. Boner-inducing hot. 'Nuff said. The other huge plus is, surprisingly enough, good filmmaking. Well, not storytelling-wise, but visually and technically. The film presents itself with this great bluish filter, and then also adds in some red later on - it looks damn slick. Sometimes the whole "glitchy" aspect of the film's look (stuttering images, shaky cam, etc.) gets a little tedious, but all things considered, it works pretty well. Now all they need is a good script, better actors, and some actual scares, and they're set.
THE EXTRAS
I didn't see PULSE in theaters, so I've only seen the UNRATED version of the film. Apparently there's only a 3-minute difference, which is actually more than usual when compared to most every other "unrated" movie nowadays. According to my friend, the only noticeable differences were a couple of extra "dead-people-on-computer-screens" suicides, and a scene involving a random girl killing herself by jumping off a tower (a snippet of which was shown in the film's trailer). For that alone, I'd recommend checking out the UNRATED version of the film over the RATED one (despite the lack of any real substantial material).

The special features here are limited, but there is some semi-worthwhile viewing to be found... I guess.

Audio Commentary (with director Jim Sonzero and special makeup effects designer Gary Tunnicliffe)

Audio Commentary (with producers Mike Leahy & Joel Soisson, visual effects supervisor Kevin O'Neil, editor Kirk Morri, and line producer Ron Vecchiarelli)

Deleted/Alternate Scenes (12:18): There are 7 scenes, none of which add anything to the film. The "alternate ending" is just lame as the rest, and it shouldn't even be called an alternate ending. Skip these.

Creating the Fear (7:03): This is a pretty standard making of featurette. Expect the norm.

The Visual Effects of "Pulse" (5:59): A very cool featurette that delves briefly into PULSE's strong suit - the effects. Definitely worth watching.

"Pulse" and the Paranormal (4:24): Stupid. This tries to make audiences believe that what happens in PULSE can happen in real life. Or something like that. Bleh.

The Theatrical Trailer is also included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Even though I didn't hate PULSE as much as everyone else seems to, there's certainly not enough here to make it worth a rental. It looks cool and has a solid stylistic presentation, but it lacks the most fundamental parts of a quality film (good characters/actors, strong script, etc.). What we're left with is a predictably poor PG-13 remake of yet another Japanese horror film. The "unrated" version adds pretty much nothing more to the proceedings, but that was to be expected anyway.
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