One Missed Call (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Shannyn Sossamon, Edward Burns, Ray Wise, Margaret Cho
Directed by Eric Valette
Distributed by Warner Home Entertainment
Since remakes are a trend that will not go away, we're going to have to deal with them. That's just the cold hard reality of the situation. Yet, I've often wondered -- Why don't people remake movies that suck? Leave the classics alone, man; there are plenty of duds out there that could use another shot! Here we have the results of just such an experiment. The original One Missed Call was for all intents and purposes a really awful flick that made little to no sense at all. Could this tale finally be done some justice in an American remake?
To get the answer, another trend would have to come to light first. J-horror has pretty much run its course, and now France is where the really promising horror flicks are coming from. So I guess Hollywood has decided that they need to cull this French talent and have them make American remakes of Japanese films. *blank stare* In any event, the next guy up to bat? Maléfique (review here) director Eric Valette! Before we get into how everything turned out (and BOY is this one a doozy), let's dig on the plot, shall we?
Beth (Sossamon) is your ordinary twenty-something with everyday problems. That is until one by one her friends start getting phone calls from dead people. Once a person dies, an evil entity somehow manages to call someone in said victim's cell phone address book. The call is stamped with the date and time of the next person's demise, which is usually a couple of days into the future. Even spookier, the upcoming victims get to hear what it will sound like when they croak. This goes on in a chain until it finally gets to our heroine. Luckily for Beth, one of the victims happened to be the sister of a detective (Burns), and together the two of them set out to solve this ensuing mystery.
So! Is it worth watching? Let me put it like this ... One Missed Call is the break-away comedy hit of 2008! There were parts of this flick that were so overtly absurd I had tears rolling down my face from laughing too hard! Prepare to be shocked by the near indescribable "Exorcism Performed on a Cell Phone" scene! Gaze in horror as ethnicity itself is defied as Beth's character goes from little Latina girl to grown-up white chick! Steady! Steady yourself! Do you think that your nerves can handle an asthma inhaler jump-scare? This stuff really has to be seen to be believed! Most of the flick's fright factor comes right out of the R.L. Stein playbook! It's as if Valette just wanted to make a movie about filling the screen with strange grinning creatures that are only there to say "Boo!" In fact, I'd hazard to say that if R.L. Stein ever made a movie, this would have been his Raiders of the Lost Ark!
And there's more than just ridiculous visuals to feast upon as One Missed Call's script delivers some of the biggest guffaws of the decade! I'm talking stuff like Ray Wise pleading for his film crew to "Make sure Jesus is centered"! Stuff like detective Andrews wondering aloud "There's no way she could have given Ellie asthma, is there?" Ponder that last bit of writing for a moment, will you? This dude's a detective. On what planet is asthma a communicable disease? But we're still not done! There is one other important lesson to be learned here, guys, and that is if you're in a building and it's burning down, you need to go and hide in a crawlspace! Remember, kids -- Fire can't burn you if it can't find you! You just have to laugh, and laugh you will!
That's it! I cannot stand it! Surely there is a treasure trove of supplemental material to dive into! What could the folks behind this slice of cinematic brilliance have to say for themselves? Sadly, we'll never find out as this DVD is as barebones as barebones releases get. There's not even a trailer! I'm willing to bet they made this a flipper disc (widescreen on one side, fullscreen on the other) just so no one would have to come up with artwork for the DVD itself! Oh well!
I have to say it. This flick sucks, but wow, was it fun to watch. Riddled with scares that only a ten-year-old may find effective, One Missed Call is proof positive that even a remake of a bad film can turn out to be just as totally pointless ... yet strangely amusing!
2 1/2 out of 5
0 out of 5
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