[From IMDB:] When their computer hacker friend accidentally channels a mysterious wireless signal, a group of co-eds rally to stop a terrifying evil from taking over the world.
Pulse is an okay, yet totally unexciting movie.
On the good side of things: Pulse looks and sounds great. Everything about these two features of the film really come together to create a tense, gritty and oppressive feel, which permeates the movie.
Kristen Bell does a good job as the lead, while Ian Somerhalder is…well, his job is to be pretty, right? I mean, it’s not like he’s ever been a great actor, so he’s obviously around because of those cheek bones and eyes and eyebrows and that smile and…
Wait, where was I?
Anyway, it’s obvious that there’s an attempt to produce some kind of commentary about the isolation brought about by our reliance on technology, but it just never rings true for me in this movie. Sure, there are moments where technology is used as a way of creating distance between people (relationships via text, missed calls, internet hookups, etc.), but these are also people who are clearly also socially connected to each other in a physical sense. They don’t seem isolated at all, which completely undermines the point that the movie seems to be trying to make.
All of this makes for a movie that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is philosophically hollow.
Really, the main thing I walked away from Pulse with is the knowledge that I obviously need to watch the original Japanese movie to see how they handle this content in comparison. I suspect the answer will be “much better, but with less pretty people” – and I’m okay with that.