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Pulse Dual Format [Blu-ray]
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Award-winning filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivered one of the finest entries in the "J-Horror" cycle of films with this moody and spiritually terrifying film that delivers existential dread along with its frights. Setting his story in the burgeoning internet and social media scene in Japan, Kurosawa's dark and apocalyptic film foretells how technology will only serve to isolate us as it grows more important to our lives.
A group of young people in Tokyo begin to experience strange phenomena involving missing co-workers and friends, technological breakdown, and a mysterious website which asks the compelling question, "Do you want to meet a ghost?" After the unexpected suicides of several friends, three strangers set out to explore a city which is growing more empty by the day, and to solve the mystery of what lies within a forbidden room in an abandoned construction site, mysteriously sealed shut with red packing tape.
Featuring haunting cinematography by Junichiro Hayashi (Ring, Dark Water), a dark and unsettling tone which lingers long after the movie is over, and an ahead-of-its-time story which anticipates 21st century disconnection and social media malaise, Pulse is one of the greatest and most terrifying achievements in modern Japanese horror, and a dark mirror for our contemporary digital world.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
FIRST PRESSING ONLY:Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Chuck Stephens
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Top customer reviews
It's pacing, as mentioned, is very slow, but this gives it a deep sense of dread. The scary moments are genuinely terrifying, with a fantastic use of sound (usually the norm in Asian horror movies, stuff like Ring, Ju-On), that leaves you quivering in your seat, and your `pulse' racing.
This has some very strong, and powerful themes that are now more relevant than ever. Feeling lonely, isolated, difficulty in communicating (especially in the era of the internet, expressed here with terrifying creativity) with the outside wide, wondering who we are and what our purpose is in life. Essentially, we're all the same, yet also different. The only thing in common we share is that we're 'human'. Nothing else really matters.
I guess the low scores aren't from people who don't `get it', but were expecting something very different. It has this sense of detachment from the main characters, you only get to know them on the surface, but given the subject matter, this is vital within it's context, and the director handles this incredibly well whilst at the same time, giving us a huge abundance of scares that will leave you wanting to sleep with the lights on.
This is serious, intelligent, frightening horror, that makes you wonder that if there were such things as ghosts, how are we any different from them?
Many other films have also tackled this theme, so it's hardly original, but very few have been as able to deliver such an idea that really stays under your skin with such emotional detachment in a world slowly falling apart. It's frightening just how much you can relate to the themes if you aren't the 'happy go lucky' type, and can relate to the misery around you, finding it a struggle to 'fit in' as a human being with verbal communication and body language.
Just don't expect anything traditional or upbeat. Pulse is far more than the sum of it's parts, and a very important entry in the ghost horror canon. But be warned, this is seriously not for those who have suicidal ideation or suffer from chronic depression.
This movie, more than any other (and I've watched MANY horror movies in my lifetime - more than what was probably good for me) has affected me like no other.
It's not for everyone and I don't think everybody will like it - it's very slow to get going and generally has a slow pace (like almost all of the director's movies) but it is incredibly disturbing and severely frightening once it grabs hold of you.
I think the main character's face-to-face (literally) with the Grim Reaper near the end is one of the most bowel-loosening and terrifying scenes I've seen in a movie.
It's quite a philosophical movie, dealing with isolation, depression and the inevitability of death. Cheery stuff, to be sure.
We are all alone, this movie posits, and cut off from everyone else and true communication is severely limited. We can never make anyone else understand how we really feel. Language is inadequate - we are all horribly, eternally alone. Ironically, even more so in these Internet-obsessed, technologically advanced age.
I could not get this movie out of my head for days afterward and it still haunts me to this day. Yes, it has some Ringu elements (long-haired spectres ahoy!) but it uses these tropes in its own and original way.
There are absolutely mind-blowing set-pieces everywhere (the first foray into a red-taped room - brrrrr -, the dancing spectre in the arcade, the seated, hooded figure on the computer screen and of course the têtê-a-têtê with Death himself.)
Give this movie a chance and you might love it like I do.
Just be sure to take your anti-depressants first. Cheery stuff this is not. Oh, and check out the director's other stuff of you liked this - Cure is especially brilliant and unforgettable too.
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Most recent customer reviews
I have no idea what this film is about as the clowns at Optimum cleverly put white subtitles on a white background.Read more
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