Friday, January 4, 2008

ONE MISSED CALL (2008) review

"Hello Hollywood, I was talking with all the other robots and we want you to stop remaking Asian horror films. Thank you."

ONE MISSED CALL fails to engage on pretty much every level. It's an exercise in mediocrity that cannot even raise my ire at it's awfulness, it just lays there like a starfish in your bed.*

Uber-cute Shannyn Sossamon's friend receives a strange phone message from herself in the future, starts to see weird apparitions, and then dies on the day and time of the message. Then someone else in the dead girl's phone receives a similar message, and so on and so on. Shannyn's investigation into the cell phone curse is soon joined by the one expression of Edward Burns, playing a police detective whose little sister has just died mysteriously.

Where to begin? Obnoxiously pointless visual flourish to start? Check. Bad script? Check. Acting was phoned in? (sorry, couldn't resist) Check. Mediocre and unimaginative ghostly visions? Check? Jump outta your seat scares? Not a chance.

The minor characters, whose sole purpose were to be drearily dispatched, could have been played by cardboard cutouts. The characters leap in logic that a ghost can't call your cell if you take out the battery is mind-boggling. And the bottom line is, it just isn't scary at all!

The original film (Chakushin Ari, 2003) was Takashi Miike's stab at J-horror, and addressed the now familiar societal themes of isolation due to technology, child abuse, and the ability of long black hair to frighten us. The remake barely touches on any of this, and leaves us nothing to think about afterwards (except whether or not someone will pick up the damn phone, which might mean a sequel... groan!) Check out the original on dvd, but do not accept the charges on this latest call.

1 comment:

metro mama said...

I'll let the machine get this one [groan].

Happy new year!