Rolling Stone - 12/01/2005 3 stars out of 4 -- "PULSE possesses the dark art to make your pulse pound and your hair stand on end -- with no cheating."
Sight and Sound - 04/01/2006
"[I]mpressively well executed, making skillful use of distorted sound and unnatural movement....Nicely eerie..."
Uncut - 05/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "There are enough unsettling images for genre fans, but this is less full-on shocker than quiet meditation on the loneliness of Tokyo."
"Would you like to meet a ghost'" This foreboding question is posed to a young man by his own computer, suddenly able to dial up to the Internet--by itself. Unfortunately for the characters in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's PULSE, inquisitive PCs are the least of their problems. What begins as the seemingly isolated suicide of a computer hacker in Tokyo leads to a series of mysterious disappearances and deaths in this bone-chilling thriller. As Michi (Kumiko Aso), a young woman working on a rooftop plant nursery, attempts to find out what happened to her deceased friend, a slacker named Kawashima (Haruhiko Katô) reports his computer's unusual behavior to Harue (Koyuki), an attractive tech specialist. Separately, they witness an unraveling horror which manifests itself in haunting digital images, coal-black stains, doors sealed with red tape, and lingering apparitions--all leading to a steady decrease in Tokyo's population.
Like RING, another prime example of Japanese horror, Kurosawa's PULSE manages to take a B-movie plot and elevate to a level of both terror and artistry that's rarely, if ever, seen in the West. Rather than relying on gore and special effects, the film uses expert cinematography (courtesy of Junichirô Hayashi, also the cameraman on RING and Kurosawa's CHARISMA), bleak backdrops, creepy music, and the good ol' power of suggestion to create what eventually becomes an existential nightmare. To call PULSE "scary" would be a grave understatement; most viewers will never look at a roll of red tape the same way again.
Theatrical Release |
Original Production Year: 2001 Theatrical Release: OCTOBER 2005 (NY)