movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a groundbreaking engineer
who made an antenna quite queer.
But then the ghosts came
and made Wifi quite lame.
Instead of engineering, he should have just had a beer.

HAIKU REVIEW: Japanese horrors
have ghosts instead of killers.
That’s the big diff’rence.

PEOPLE: Screenplay co-written by Wes Craven. He was slated to direct it, but unfortunately bailed out. Starring Kristen Bell (aka Elle from Heroes, also in Fanboys) and some other minor actors. Hey Compn–it had Brad Dourif too.

QUIRKS: A remake of a Japanese horror movie. And from what I can tell about Japanese horror, it’s not really all that different from American horror. You just substitute ghosts in place of serial killers.

Basically — a computer “virus” rapidly spreads, causing mass suicides. Ghosts in the wifi. They’ll get ya. Basically, once you use your computer and get “infected”, you’re going to die pretty soon. It really reminds me of The Ring in that sense — “see something and then die a few days later”. In fact, Bob Weinstein canceled the movie at one point for being too similar to The Ring.

But then, later, things get really bad. It approaches more of the level of the [non-Japanese-related] horror The Signal. Since wifi is a signal, and hardware gets “infected” by this evil signal, in the end it was a matter of escaping everywhere that the signal could reach — so it went from being more like The Ring to being more like The Signal.

GEEK MOMENT: Seeing someone hang themself with network cable instead of a phone cord. It’s about time.

VISUALS: The ghosts aren’t as visually disturbing as The Grudge. Carolyn still was reminded of The Grudge a lot — but not as much as I was. She says some of the ghostly shapes reminded her of The Grudge twisting; but I disagree. They’re just the standard Americanized depiction of creepy Japanese ghosts, as seen in The Grudge and The Ring.

But what was seen on the computer screens was kind of disturbing. “Do you want to see a ghost?” If my computer spontaneously said that in a way that doesn’t look like it’s coming from any specific application — I’d probably head straight for the power switch. Though if it was someone else’s computer, I’d probably go through with clicking on it to see what happens.

And oh yeah — if I ever have a dead friend IM me… I’m going to freak out a little.

BAD STUFF: It’s not a bad movie at all. There aren’t a lot of characters, but it really picks up at the end. The [highlight for spoilers] non-happy ending surprised me a bit, as I really thought they were going to [highlight for spoilers] succeed at stopping the ghosts.

CONCLUSION: 40% The Ring + 40% The Signal + 10% The Grudge = Pulse. We really liked it compared to most horrors, so it gets 4/5 stars on Netflix. But it’s not super groundbreaking, so it only gets 7/10 on IMDB. Carolyn gave it 8/10 on IMDB. Maybe I’m just not remembering it as good as it was. However, IMDB itself only rates this movie 4.4/10.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like technological, ghost, or Japanese-remake horror: Here’s another one. And it has a sequel, so if you like this, you might get 2 movies out of it.

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Signal. The Ring. The Grudge. If you liked all of those, you’re probably guaranteed to like this.

MOVIE QUOTE: Thin Bookish Guy (Brad Douriff): “The whole freakin’ city is going insane, and we’re acting like it’s nothing. Well, it’s not nothing. It’s something we don’t understand, and it is coming for us.”
Goth Girl: “You’re freaking us out, man.”
Music: The Church – Electric