Wednesday, January 09, 2008

One Missed Call

Didn't Pay Your Phone Bill?

One Missed Call gets filed amongst Hollywood Remakes of Japanese Horror that shouldn't have been green lighted in the first place. I suppose with the likes of so many of such remakes, the supposed winning formula would be to adopt the story, slap some relatively known actors in it, and employ every trick in the Hollywood horror book, and expect the box offices to go ka-ching! Wrong! One Missed Call happens to be One Big Bore!

I am beginning to affirm that horror remakes by Hollywood are a waste of time. What made the Asian ones work, is because of a certain X-factor appeal in them, pertaining to the building of atmospheric mood, which plays a key role in maintaining tension, and some really ingenious and innovative ways of exposing the ghoul for a good scare. Hollywood instead dives straight into such scenes with so much noise, even the ghoul would have run away. It doesn't mean that with a bigger budget and better special effects, it's an automatic triumphing over the relatively lower key originals. They work for a reason, and more money being thrown at it, is just not the answer.

I am curious to know how Edward Burns would have truly thought about his role here, as well as the storyline. A filmmaker himself, I guess he needed to pay the bills and perhaps fund his own projects too. I had enjoyed his performance in 15 Minutes and Confidence, not masterpieces but at least a tad enjoyable, and while he has the occasional dud like A Sound of Thunder, I thought his role here as a generic cop, really took the cake. It's just so lazy a character, he got slapped into the thick of things in pure coincidental fashion, and not to mention just going through the motions of it all, looking concerned most of the time, and being cut out of the action for the most parts too conveniently.

Shannyn Sossamon probably had everyone take notice with her lead female role in A Knight's Tale, alongside Heath Ledger and Paul Bettany. While her male co-stars went on to bigger and better roles, she got perpetually stuck with unremarkable ones, and with turkeys such as this. In true Final Destination style, her friends around her start dying after she hears their missed call/voice messages, which contains their last utterances on Earth, before their untimely demise, the exact moment all coldly printed on the LCD screen of their mobile phone. Even the deaths too seemed tired, and so bad I would've settled for a simple knife stabbing just to get over it.

And the supporting characters? Don't bother. Too many one dimensional roles here which calls for half exposed cleavage to spice things up a little and hold the attention of pimply boys it hopes to target in the audience. I tell you, one more of this demonic kid nonsense, and that's it, it get a stamp of rejection. What's with demonic kids? Can we get over this group already? Can we move on from crazed children who probably needed a good spanking to slap the devil out of them? And move on too from the creaking doors, insipid light and shadow play, sudden crescendos in the soundtrack, and cheap shots passing off as "ingenious" ways to scare the audience. It's boring when it doesn't get done right, and comes off as lackadaisical.

But what's truly scary, would be you downloading from somewhere, the ring tone that is featured in the movie, and into your friends mobile phone. It's now synonymous with impeding doom and death, so if you want to wish someone ill-will, then this is your ringtone of choice. If I can create a ringtone and make money out of it, then this is the one to create, right now before the fad dies off.

One missed call? Don't return the call please, and delete it from your phone records. For good. Skip it and don't bother with the rental.

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