Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Is Stephen King Ghostwriting: The Pulse

Some of you out there are lucky enough to have read Stephen King's latest novel, "Cell".

It was an homage to George Romero's epic storyline of the Dead, and his own personal twist on the zombie genre.

And it was.....ok.

Honestly, the dialogue was hackneyed, the plot was cumbersome, and he decided early on that he wouldn't so much have closure as a crappy ending to the novel.

You may ask why I mention this. Well, I have just watched a movie that may be a better version of King than the man himself can write.

Let's take a look at "The Pulse."

The guest list for this outing is rather slumbersome, though there are some names worth mentioning:

Mattie, the college-girl-with-too-much-head-on-her-shoulders (played delectably by the swelteringly hot Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars")

Dexter, the too-cool-for-school-technophile (Ian Somerhalder from "Lost")

Stone, the....well, the stoner (Rick Gonzalez doing the role he has played in every other movie with college kids)

Dr. Waterson, the psych-who-thinks-he-knows-everything-until-the-unknown-drops-in-his-lap (Ron Rifkin from "Alias")

These actors do a fine job of acting freaked out for an hour and forty minutes, which is surprising given the state of this plotline.

Allow me to summarize without giving too much away.

Someone, perhaps a techie-lab with too much power and too little control, has unraveled the space-time continuum, unleashing hords of ghost-like-aparitions upon Earth.

Though they look and move like the creepshow from "The Ring", they don't take true control of their technical prowess by making obscene phone calls to their victims.

They move through anything electric (computers, cell phones, radios), they can only really hurt you if you look them straight in the eye.

This is where I posed the question: "What if you are wearing a blindfold? For the rest of your life?"

Anyway, these spectors fly around sucking the life out of people and consuming them from the inside.

Now this is the trippy part: It's all pretty freakin' scary.

I went into this film with pretty low expectations, and I suggest you do as well, but it really did scare me at times.

The jump scares were done exceedingly well, and the ambience remained eerie throughout the film; not a small task.

What really blew me away about this movie is a small but significant fact: This is a remake of a Japanese horror film.

Now I know what you're all thinking:

Has Adam sold out and started LIKING these attrocious wastes of cinema space?

I haven't turned in my colors just yet, loyal readers. I still hate those movies with the passion of Sly Stallone pounding a slab of meat.

But this was really something else. This movie changed the ugly, white and pasty face of asian horror remakes forever.

It wasn't great. I don't want to lead you all into thinking this was some seminal piece of filmmaking. But it was good, and that's something.

There was a scene in the movie, let's call it "that diner scene", which borrowed heavily from the cheese section of the scriptwriting grocery store. It doesn't so much take away from the movie as provide a sense of relief.

The whole film you keep expecting this bag of suck to happen, and this scene helps ease you through the rest. It's just so damned campy.

But that's the only really predictable moment. This film does an excellent job of flying against the grain on other counts.

Was this a perfect movie? No. But is it better than nine-tenths of the other remakes out there?


This movie gets a hanging-with-Kristen Bell-during-a-blizzard-and-sipping-on-hot-cocoa-whilst-playing-a-PS2.

It's not top of the line, but you don't care.

Watch carefully.

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