Considering the narrative obliqueness of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's original Pulse, it was inevitable that an American remake would try to streamline its apocalyptic otherworldliness through explication. And true to form, Jim Sonzero's version eventually falls back on attempting to elucidate the reasons behind its story's invasion of the undead with answers neither compelling nor necessary, capped off by closing narration that hammers home points that have been implicitly suggested from the outset. Yet before such ill-advised detours into explanatory handholding, this domestic redo of Kurosawa's magnificent ghost story is a reasonably sinister scary movie that faithfully taps into its predecessor's irrational, existential dread and distrust of technology. Co-written by Wes Craven, Sonzero's film concerns the efforts of Mattie (Veronica Mars's Kristen Bell, nicely balancing anxiety and determination) and Dexter (vacant-looking Lost alum Ian Somerhalder) to stop a worldwide plague of malicious phantoms brought about by the imprudent computer hacking of Mattie's ex-boyfriend Josh (Jonathan Tucker) who, terrorized by pasty, screeching ghouls, hung himself in front of his former love.
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