One Missed Call (2008)
It happens to one. Then another. And another. College students discover eerie voicemail messages on their cell phones. Each call comes from the near future. Each call has the chilling voice of the student during his or her last moments alive. And each call comes true. Terror is One Missed Call away in this got-your-number shocker based on the hit Japanese thriller Chakushin ari. Does the viral spree of calls have a single source? Is there something that links the victims? Psych student Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) and detective Jack Andrews (Ed Burns) scramble for answers. And they?re working fast. Because Beth just discovered an ominous message.
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Japan has had a lot of imports over the years and the latest is in remakes of their often-startling horror movies. Japanese horror is visceral and disturbing to most westerners with its bleak sensibilities, spooky little girls, and often complete lack of what we've come to expect by way of rational explanation.
It's also amazingly technologically hip, dealing with the internet, video-tapes, and other pieces of technology so easily absorbed by Japanese teenagers.
The latest Japanese horror film to hit the shores is One Missed Call. In the wake of the success of The Ring and The Grudge, in April you will be able to get One Missed Call from Warner Brothers DVD and Blue-ray.
The film is based on the original Japanese horror film Chakushin Ari. College students discover eerie voicemail messages on their cell phones from the near-future of their last moments before death. Each call comes true.
The protagonists, Shannyn Sossamon (Beth Raymond), and Ed Burns (Jack
Andrews) try frantically to put the pieces together before their numbers come up. One Missed Call offers sufficient death and dread for a horror experience but it's hard for me to give it a real recommendation.
In fact, while I'm a reasonable fan of Japanese horror and like seeing imports--and approve of these films getting the gold-plated Blu-ray treatment it's hard to give it more than a C. For one thing it feels a bit haphazard. For another thing, clocking in at only PG-13 it misses some of the really heart-stopping imagery that these imports sometimes possess.
The leads are strong enough to carry it along gamely and the tension built hoping the pre-destined death-calls don't come true is a legitimately horrific concept to build the movie on. If you're interested in seeing more Japanese horror imports, One Missed Call is something you might want to check out.
The DVD itself contains the amaphoric widescreen and full frame versions of the film with little else left for the best possible picture and audio quality allowed on a standard definition disc.
Be sure to check out the official website of One Missed Call at www.onemissedcallmovie.com and be sure to get the inside scoop on WB movie and DVD releases! www.wbreelnews.com
--Nathan M Rose
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