In the tradition of THE RING, THE GRUDGE, DARK WATER, and PULSE, ONE MISSED CALL is yet another moody Japanese ghost story to be adapted for American screens. Originally made by cult director Takashi Miike in 2003 from Yasushi Akimoto's novel CHAKUSHIN ARI, this American version retains the elements that are sure to please J-Horror fans--jerky apparitions, ghostly children, desperate messages from beyond the grave, possessed electronic devices, and strong female characters. While this remake, which is the debut English-language film from French director Eric Valette, dispenses with some of the freakiness of Miike's version, the creepiness remains.
Shannon Sossamon is Beth, a developmental psychology student who has plenty of cause for concern after her friend Leann (Azura Skye) receives a panicked cell phone message from herself days in the future. After Leann falls in front of a train at the same date and time on the message, Beth suspects that she may be next. Beth's fear seems even more justified after her friend Taylor (Ana Claudia Talancon) befalls a similar fate as her phone message is being investigated by a reality TV host (Ray Wise) who specializes in unexplained phenomena. With the help of police chief Jack Andrews (Ed Byrnes), Beth discovers a link between the calls and a deceased mother and daughter. A slow burning ghost tale, ONE MISSED CALL establishes a mood of creepiness before the opening credits and sustains it right through to the conclusion. Instead of major shocks or gore, we're given subtle glimpses of ghostly figures or slightly distorted faces that are effective in creating unease. Sossamon makes a pleasing heroine, and the always excellent Wise makes the most of his small role. Almost old-fashioned in its restraint, the film is a good candidate for family viewing--and spooky enough to give all but the most jaded horror fan goose bumps.
Based On A Novel |