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It really is a shame that my beloved horror genre has been reduced to horrible remakes and sequel after sequel. The specific region of the horror genre though that has been absolutely raided by American directors is that of Japanese Horror aka J-Horror. It kind of started with The Ring and then went all down hill from there. The Grudge and its sequel, Dark Water, The Ring 2, Pulse, Shutter, and a host of others have given not only J-Horror a bad name, but all of horror in general. The originals are fantastic and have been bastardized simply for a big payday. Leave it to Americans though to continue on a horrible trend and remake One Missed Call.
There are some horrible happenings going on lately as college students are getting bumped off one by one. The police are at a complete loss as the murders are getting more brutal and more violent as they are discovered. One thing that all of the victims have in common is that they receive a cell phone voicemail at the exact time of their death. It is a voice mail that comes from their own personal phones and also is announced by ringtones none of them have on their phones.
Beth Raymond is not happy with the slow advancement of the police, and due to the fact that she has lost many of her close friends to these freakish calls, she takes matters into her own hands. Beth has figured out that something isn’t right with the phone calls and that all of the victims ended up being found with a red piece of candy in their mouths upon their deaths. The police ignore her pleas to listen to what she has figured out, but she won’t just sit idly back. Detective Jack Andrews is on her side though since his sister also lost her life due to one of the phone calls. Together they plan to investigate these mysterious occurrences further and find out why their loved ones have been taken from them.
This isn’t just bad; it’s downright insulting to horror fans and any director that ever made a J-Horror film. That especially goes for Takashi Miike who directed the original version of One Missed Call which was entitled Chakushin Ari. His film was made a mockery of with this watered down and dumbed over version of whatever the filmmakers might actually call this. If you want a prime example of just how stupid this film is, then check out the scene where a televangelist literally tries to perform an exorcism on one of the haunted cell phones. Seriously, it reminded me of Leslie Nielsen’s Repossessed spoof of The Exorcist from years ago.
Considering that every horror film to come out these days is rated PG-13, there is already a ninety-nine percent guarantee that the scares will be generic, the blood will be shown in small amounts, and the language will be acceptable for the ears of five year olds. It used to be that filmmakers tried by all means to avoid the horrible X rating and these days the dreaded NC-17. Now it seems as if they are even too scared to put out a decent horror film with a strong R rating. Or maybe it’s the fact that they don’t want to miss out on all money the teeny-boppers under the age of eighteen can bring in by going to theatres and annoying other theatergoers by screaming when someone opens a door too fast. Ooooo scary. One Missed Call is a prime example of the greed that runs the film industry these days and dominates the horror genre.
The film is shown in either 1.33:1 Full Screen format or Anamorphic Widescreen format. Both are included on the disc and neither looks too good to be quite frank with you. There is some grain and more then a few blurry moments throughout while the darker scenes just look awful.
The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and it isn’t too bad as all dialogue can be heard even with some of the music getting a bit too loud at times.
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Maybe they realized how awful the film was and proceeded to not include any special features on the DVD so as not to prolong the torture. If you have any respect for horror then you’ll go out and purchase Miike’s original film and appreciate it for what it is. If you also have any appreciation for your well-being, then you will never watch this piece of crap or feed any money into the awful trend of remakes.
Warner Home Video presents One Missed Call. Directed by: Eric Valette. Starring: Shannyn Sossamon, Ed Burns, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ray Wise, Azura Skye. Written by: Andrew Klavan (screenplay), Yasushi Akimoto (novel). Running time: 87 minutes. Rating: PG-13. Released on DVD: April 22, 2008. Available at Amazon.com