Pulse 2 (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Jamie Bamber, Georgina Rylance, Karley Scott Collins, Todd Giebanhein
Directed by Joel Soisson
Distributed by Dimension Extreme
What a mess. What an absolute mess. I have to admit I was kind of looking forward to this one. In my opinion the few clips we saw looked pretty damned promising. I like Soisson. The guy knows how to squeeze a lot out of a little, and with Gary Tunnicliffe on board taking care of the spook effects, at the very least this couldn't possibly be any worse than the American remake, right? Wrong. Dead wrong.
We pick up right after the events of the first film with a completely different set of characters (none of whom other than Rylance can act). The ghost invasion is still in full swing, and it's been claiming lives on the regular. The few remaining frightened survivors are taking shelter in remote parts of the country where wireless communication signals cannot reach. A father's love, however, can be much more powerful than fear. Such is the case of our hero (Bamber, giving one of the worst performances of his career) who travels through a supposedly spectre-infested city to see if his daughter's still alive. He ends up finding her and much more than he ever bargained for. Everything, that is, except for all the spirits. I think he runs into a couple or maybe three. Lame.
The story is told from two different points of view, the living and the dead. That sounds like a pretty promising concept, doesn't it? Unfortunately there's a lot wrong here that keeps this flick firmly below the average mark.
First the look of the ghosts is terrible. Say what you want about the remake, at least it had some freaky looking spirits. In Pulse 2 they're just like flickering TV images walking through the scenes and are about as menacing as the Taco Bell Chihuahua. Inexcusable. Come on! You have an F/X master working on your movie! How do you not get him to doctor up a couple of quick appliances and some contacts? The spookiest looking ghosts to be found here are the recycled ones on the DVD box.
Another thing that will take you immediately out of the movie is the fact that I'd say about eighty percent of it is filmed in front of a green screen, and holy shit, does it show. We're talking even trivial scenes like a couple standing in an entirely green-screened (furniture and all) bedroom. I've heard of cutting corners, but give me a break, guys! There are points in this film in which the onscreen action looks no better than a Stephen Colbert fan challenge. I'm stunned. Wow. Just wow.
In terms of special features there's a commentary with everyone and their grandmother that was far too busy to even remotely pay attention to, two deleted scenes (one unfinished in front of guess what? A green screen!), and a sneak peek at Pulse 3. Can't wait for that one. I shudder to think. Sigh.
Let me put it like this ... the difference in quality between the Japanese original and the remake is the same difference in quality between the remake and its sequel. If you thought it couldn't get any worse, guess again. Pulse 2 is a flaccid little wreck of a movie that gets far more wrong than it does right. They only thing scary about it is how it turned out. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
1 1/2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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