Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Rider Strong, William Prael, Georgina Rylance, Brittany Finamore
Directed by Joel Soisson
Distributed by Dimension Extreme
Sigh. Here we go again. After a just okay American remake was there really a need to turn Pulse into a franchise? If you read my Pulse 2 review, the short answer would be a resounding no. The two sequels, both written and directed by Joel Soisson, miss the mark by a few miles although I have to say Pulse 3 was a bit better than the horridly flaccid Pulse 2.
The story picks up seven years after the events of the first sequel with our sole escapee Justine (now played by Finamore) all grown up as a rebellious teen. She’s sick of the wasteland the world has become and longs for the time of the Internet and iPods. One day while grousing around her shanty-town, she comes across a laptop. After firing it up, despite knowing the possible consequences, she’s immediately contacted via instant message by someone named Adam (Strong), and he tells her there’s a way to fix things and that the big city he’s in isn’t so bad. Immediately she embarks on her journey of run, hide, and spook, but can things be put right or is it all for nothing?
Pulse 3 has a surprisingly strong opening scene. The trouble is that it just doesn’t get much better than its first five minutes. At least in this go-around the ghosts, who are still nothing more than CGI phantom flickers, look a bit scarier and do some crazy things — an element sorely missing from the second film. Truth be told, things cook along at a fairly watchable pace until the ending, at which point everything just falls apart. It really has to be seen to be believed, but I’ll try and describe it for ya: After a Max Headroom-esque digital finale, we’re treated to what could quite possibly be the dumbest, most out-of-place pro-Amish epilogue I’ve ever seen.
In the commentary we learn that this scene is one that Soisson fought the studio to include. I love ya, Joel, but this is one battle that you should have lost. Other than the additional audio track, all we get in terms of special features is an eight-minute making-of. Just like the film itself, there’s not a whole lot to see here.
Pulse 3‘s two biggest Achilles heels remain the under-utilized F/X abilities of Gary Tunnicliffe and the usage of CGI in place of having actual locations for the actors to inhabit. There are so many moments in which our characters look as if they’re walking through a cartoon that it’s nearly impossible to invest in the movie. Maybe the budget for these two flicks should have been combined to make one sequel with sets and decent effects work. Who knows? Who cares? I’m done. If you’re keeping score — Pulse 3 is better than Pulse 2 but still not as good as the American remake, which wasn’t exactly great to begin with.
Oh, and remember kids … the Amish ROCK!
*shakes head in disbelief*
2 out of 5
1 1/2 out of 5
Discuss Pulse 3 in the Dread Central forums!