Halloween 2020 Movie Special, Day 7: “Pulse” (2001)

What better way to end our Halloween movie special week focusing on technology terror than with Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s apocalyptic J-horror Pulse?

Pulse
(Japan 2001, director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, original title: Kairo)

People start disappearing, as spirits seem to invade the world through the internet.

Ring was scary not only because of its long-haired ghost woman, but because of its mix of urban legend and technology. Pulse goes one step further and uses the almighty internet as a place where people are contacted by ghosts. But unlike the classic Poltergeist scenario, the invasion of the human world happens in a much more subtle and disturbing way. Many people seem to have a problem with the lack of explanations and how characters simply disappear without a reason, making the scenario more frightening. While other movies rely on jumpscares (something J-horror can also be accused of), this time there’s real fear of the unknown, with people becoming shadows on walls or on the floor.

Pulse is maybe less a classic ghost story and more social commentary on how isolated people have become despite having access to the internet and communicating with others, simply living their own ghost lives. Disconnectedness and suicides are as much topics as the inability to cope with the world. Even if this all sounds as if one reads too much into a movie that doesn’t offer any solutions, it’s important to appreciate and even enjoy it. The runtime could be shorter, though, because the last 40 minutes or so are a drag, probably because there’s not much happening. As it is, this remains a frightening and disturbing movie that is both mysterious and thought-provoking, but definitely not for everyone who is used to traditional story and character development.

Score: 8/10

Buy the BD on
Amazon Germany (UK import)
Amazon UK
Amazon USA (UK import)

Buy the DVD on
Amazon Germany
Amazon UK
Amazon USA

IMDb

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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1 Response to Halloween 2020 Movie Special, Day 7: “Pulse” (2001)

  1. Pingback: Overview of (blog) life in October 2020 | Emotional Multimedia Ride

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