Saturday, September 09, 2006


Speak Up! I Can't Hear You!

I've watched the original movie Kairo which Pulse is based upon. As is the current trend, Asian horror movies are being adapted or remade by their western counterparts at a rapid pace in an attempt to offer something different in style of the genre to its own audiences. If you haven't watched Kairo, you might think that Pulse is genius. If you had watched Kairo however, and didn't like it, this remake will make you appreciate the original a whole lot more. If you liked Kairo, then Pulse is a blasphemy, whether or not you're a purist.

While the original is measured in its delivery, keeping its cards close to its chest while the story developed, Pulse suffers from the dumbing down of plot to cater to the masses - any theme and everything is explained like an instruction manual, and this goes right down to offering some kind of a decent explanation of what exactly is happening, and creates a weak origin to go along too. From the onset, within the first ten minutes, it smacks the ideas of communication and modern day isolation so in your face, you wonder what else are they gonna cover as the movie progressed.

Luckily it lasts a little less than 90 minutes, and somehow sustained interest with its nicely done special effects, which you cannot deny is much superior to Kairo, made 5 years ago. However, nifty special effects isn't sufficient to gloss over a serious lack of effort in delivery to make this be at least as creepy as the original. Contrasted with the simple effects of shadowy figures, and the atmospheric chilling mood in Kairo, which you do not get to feel at all when watching Pulse, it degenerates this movie into a level of generics.

As with all remakes, some liberties are taken to create new characters, or recreate some from an amalgamation of others. From the trailers you do see iconic scenes taken from Kairo lock stock and barrel, but somehow didn't make the final cut, or was modified. There were some nice touches though, in their recreation of the dank apartment where the first signs of trouble surfaced.

Are there any good points at all? Compared to Kairo, this one is paced faster, because of its action sequences with the showing of the ghouls. So for those with attention disorder, its lack of lingering scenes will make Pulse more palatable to you. But one thing that really stuck out like a sore thumb, is its use of pop music, wiping away any sense or attempts at creating a horror movie truly dependent on mood, which is what made Asian horror stand out against the usual western horror movies in the first place.

All in all, I think it's about time remakes cool off the factory floor. If anything, Pulse should generate some interest on Kairo, and allow those who backtrack, discover the genius of the original Kiyoshi Kurosawa masterpiece.

Click here to read a genius review comparing the original masterpiece with the current popcorn flick - I've read it twice in succession, and it made me wanna reborrow Kairo to check out the bits that I've missed!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...