Pulse (2006)

pulse poster 2006 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Tries to give more story to the original

Dull story, cast, visuals

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Pulse

Studio:  The Weinstein Company

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  August 11, 2006

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


I’m watching you!

Josh Ockmann (Jonathan Tucker) has discovered something on his computer which drives him to suicide.  When his girlfriend Mattie Webber (Kristen Bell) begins receiving messages from Josh’s computer after his death, she and Dex McCarthy (Ian Somerhalder), the man who purchased Josh’s computer, find that a door between the dead and the living has been opened.  The dead desperately want life and begin taking it from the living…reaching out for them through technology.  To stop the dead, Josh believed that a virus could shut down the system and Mattie and Dex must find a way to stop it before it consumes the world.


Scream if you like ghosts!

Directed by Jim Sonzero, Pulse is a remake of the 2001 Japanese horror film Kairo and was written by Wes Craven and Ray Wright.  The movie was originally scheduled for a spring release but was pushed back to late summer where it was generally disliked by critics.

I don’t enjoy Pulse, but it because of the general criticism that the film was a lifeless remake of Kairo…I just don’t think it is a very good movie.  The themes and ideas of Pulse are there, but both the story and visuals just aren’t there to back them up.


I can’t use a phone, I can’t call Ghostbusters!

The story of Pulse is basically about human detachment due to computers and the compartmentalization of lives.  This is a great theme and rich for exploration, but the movie really doesn’t get there with the plot.  The events of the film seem really random…sometimes the ghosts eat the life of the people turning them to ash, sometimes they commit suicide.  The idea of people slowly disappearing and no one carrying is creepy, and I like that once it starts, it can’t be stopped.  Unfortunately, the movie really seems to miss the boat on these ideas.

The cast is extremely average and mostly made up of “TV people”.  Kristen Bell was great as Veronica Mars, but I haven’t seen her in much that has wowed me since.  I enjoyed Lost, but Ian Somerhalder isn’t really a leading man.  Christina Milian plays Kristen friend and if nothing she meets an interesting “death” with the washing machine monster.  The only name you get is veteran Brad Dourif in a small role as a crazed man.


Reach out and touch someone!

The visuals for Pulse aren’t bad, but with how Pulse is set-up, they also are often hard to see.  Both Pulse and the original film make a lot of use of red and red tape…which never is really explained (I guess black tape can’t keep a spirit out).  The ghosts are often shaky and not very visual though they attack with ferocity.  I do like the turning to ash scenes by people who are used up by the ghosts.

I watched Pulse initially, then watched Kairo, then watched Pulse again…and I have to say I don’t really enjoy either picture.  I like what both films are saying about the detached nature of society and computers, but I think the picture’s plot could be better streamlined and the horror less random.  Pulse was followed by a straight-to-DVD sequel Pulse 2:  Afterlife in 2008.

Related Links:

Kairo (Pulse) (2001)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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