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Pulse (Kaïro): The Review

Directed By: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring: Haruhiko Katô, Kumiko Aso, Michi Koyuki, Jun Fubuki, Shinji Takeda, Koji Yakusho

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's latest picture is entitled Pulse. In the first few scenes of the film, it appeared to be a thinly disguised Ring rip-off, with the medium being the Internet, instead of videotape, but further along I realized that the ideology of Pulse was a little broader in scope.

The film centers on several college students (the film also borders on the teen horror flick genre in the early going; another similarity to Ring) who encounter a strange website after one of them inexplicably commits suicide. Two sets of characters each fumble around for answers to the increasing madness, knowing something is wrong, but seem powerless to stop it.

In my opinion, the film fails to deliver the full impact of its potential of what I'm sure was intended. Whenever the film started to get creepy, (and there were several instances) it would cut away to an unrelated scene, most often unnecessary and slow the film down, as a result. I found Pulse to be convoluted and to say that it could have been cut down twenty minutes is not an unfair statement. Although I found the concept of the film very interesting and original, the pacing of the film turned out to be Pulse's biggest enemy.

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