There are great horror movies that get even better every time you watch them, and then there are those that are so mundane and underwhelming that they’re best struck from the annals of cinematic history. Unfortunately, 2006 Impulse which stars Kristen Bell falls into the latter category.
Kristen Bell has become known as a cheeky PI in Veronique Marchthe sinful Eleanor who was “accidentally” placed in heaven in The right placeand, more recently, a curious and paranoid neighbor Anna in a horror parody The woman at home opposite the girl at the window. She shines best as a comedy actress, with just a pinch of drama – and many believe that’s her forte. When she decided to venture into horror in 2006, Bell was clearly stepping out of her comfort zone, and it wasn’t pretty.
Impulse is an American remake of Cairo, a cult J-horror from supernatural tension master Kiyoshi Kurosawa. The original tells a story of ghosts invading the world of the living using the internet and robbing them of the will to live. While the remake seemingly follows Kairo’s path, it tries to add its cachet but ends up losing the spooky minimalism, growing sense of quiet dread, and gradually unfolding story appeal that made the original so convincing.
Directed by Jim Sonzero – and originally written by Wes Craven, who later walked away from the project and denied any relationship to the final product – Impulse follows psychology student Matti (Bell), who comes to check on her oddly behaving boyfriend, only to see him hanging himself from an internet cable. Following this, Mattie and her friends begin to receive disturbing messages that appear to be from the deceased and are affected by apparitions from Monitors. Mattie teams up with tech-savvy Dex (played byvampire diary Ian Somerhalder). She discovers that her boyfriend hacked into the system that held the ghosts (who resided on a mysterious and previously unknown frequency) and accidentally released them. Now it’s up to her and Dex to sort things out.
There are many things that do Impulse a subpar horror film best forgotten. And chances are Bell wouldn’t mind removing him from his professional career sheet, either. The fact that the film was loosely parodied in one of Bell’s other films, Forget Sarah Marshall, only proves the point. In it, her character Sarah, a star of a crime TV show, is mocked for starring in a ridiculous horror movie and failing on murderous cellphones.
Although the premise seems closer to A missed call Where the ringthe theme of supernaturally possessed technology turning against humanity is certainly reminiscent Impulse, although director Nicholas Stoller denies the direct link. The comparison is just too stark to be a coincidence. One of the film’s characters, rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), even goes so far as to call the referenced horror movie a “metaphor for a shitty movie” rather than a “metaphor for drug addiction.” technology”. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty accurate description of Impulse. So what exactly makes this American remake so painfully forgettable?
Pulse’s problems go beyond the occasional plot hole. Many elements and plots – like a mysterious man with his face hidden by a plastic bag, Mattie’s bizarre dream sequences, or her inexplicable therapy sessions – seem to be inserted haphazardly, never explained or resolved. Unlike the J-horror original, no explanation is given as to the unkillable ghosts’ motivations or, for that matter, their modus operandi. Technically, (some but not all) future victims see a mysterious on-screen message asking them if they want to meet a ghost. The question is followed by a series of disturbing live images of others affected by the apparitions. Some viewers are attacked right after seeing the bizarre post, while others go on with their lives for much longer, with no clear distinction between the two groups. At first, the apparitions act exactly as they should – they are mostly fleeting and “attack” the human soul. As the film progresses, they seem to become more powerful and corporeal, culminating in a scene where they chase Dex and Mattie’s car, physically clinging to it rather than ghostly driving through it. Like many other elements, the reasons for their evolution remain obscure.
When it comes to Pulse characters, their motivations and actions are equally obscure. Unlike other supernatural horror films, where the characters try to solve the mystery and find out the reasons behind the ghostly actions, Mattie and her friends remain nearly clueless until the end, displaying a surprising lack of curiosity and wit. survival instinct. Sonzero makes it nearly impossible for audiences to relate or empathize with his created characters without clear motivations or aspirations.
Kristen Bell is an excellent actress. His characters usually have the spunk, the cheek, and a ton of attitude. Everything stripped of Mattie in Impulse. Nothing seems to upset her or evoke strong emotions, including the death of her boyfriend. She’s not shocked to find a cat rotting but alive in her closet, doesn’t seem so terrified by the murderous apparitions, and isn’t particularly shaken by what appears to be an impending apocalypse. The rest of the cast deliver performances bordering on Tommy Wiseau’s infamous “I Didn’t Hit Her” monologue in Bedroom.
Occasional rays of decent acting come from inexplicable cameos and short parts from Octavia Spencer, Ron Rifkin and Zach Grenier, but unfortunately these are as fleeting as the logic of the film.
Sonzero fails to deliver a tense and gripping experience despite surprisingly decent visual effects and slick camerawork. The potential jump alerts are too on the nose to be effective and would benefit from a progressive setup, so skillfully done in the original. While Impulse tries to reflect some of Kairos cinematic moments, it lacks the spooky, creepy atmosphere and sinister sense of dread of the original that suggests impending danger rather than throwing it into the faces of the audience.
After the bitter failure of Impulse – which still managed to spawn two sequels, getting incredibly worse with each episode – Kristen Bell made the wise decision to stay away from the horror genre, only venturing into its territory on the comedic fringe of an excellent parody which is The woman at home opposite the girl at the window. And perhaps his previous attempts at the genre should be happily forgotten, just like the unfortunate Impulse himself.
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