copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

Pulse revolves around an alternative dimension into which several people made a connection when they came upon a new wireless frequency. What they came upon wasn't nice and for some reason it started spreading through electronics like a virus, entering the real world and stealing everyone's soul one by one, destroying the body in the process. Before you know it, the whole world is in danger.

The movie finds its routes in a Japanese production, originally called Kairo. There are a lot of complaints from the viewers of Kairo, condemning Pulse to be a total copycat of that movie, except the Hollywood version is not nearly as artistic and scary as the original. Having never seen Kairo, I can not take that possibility into account while judging.

As a standalone, Pulse has got to be one of the creepiest movies ever. The reason for that probably lies in the new monster. Humans have a lot of material fears with clear borders that the movie makers often take advantage of. The last time artificial intelligence took over machines and rebelled against humans, it resulted in a practical and understandable Terminator, a machine that can be seen, understood in English and destroyed with guns. However, the fear factor jumps through the roof when people are introduced to something scary that they can't really mentally grasp or deal with. In Pulse it is the 21st century's technology that's exploited for the sake of horror entertainment.

The storyline never goes too deep, probably not to raise unnecessary questions that would obviously shake the storyline's foundation and common sense in general, or perhaps the makers had to watch the length of the movie carefully for budget reasons. Whatever the reason, some parts of the story are left unexplained and the obvious lack of an ending leaves plenty of space for a sequel.

There is no spectacular acting (or really good actors for that matter) in the movie, but then again, the movie relies on silence and special effects much more than on talking.

Special effects are mostly along the lines of The Grudge and The Ring. They consist out of unnatural (and thus scary) blurs, camera speedups, slowdowns, morphs, and pale naked skinheads crawling out of washing machines.


Apart from an empty ending, which obviously leaves plenty of space for sequels, the movie is interesting and worth watching, especially for a Ring fan. Higher than average acting and special effects pull this dark production through just fine. Perhaps not nearly as good as the original, but for a Western viewer this should be a more than satisfying Hollywood adoptation.