Originally posted August 9, 2006 at 17:24.
I've been wanting to watch this movie for MONTHS, since I read a review of how horribly creepy and great it was. Yeah, there's another dissapointment to add to the list. I was bored. Here's what I wrote up for another blog of mine:
Now, normally when it comes down to it, I like J-Horror okay, but I think several of the American remakes have really taken what was originally almost there and made it really there. That makes no sense, but it's hard to explain. But I doubt it's cultural differences, though it could be that I expect more from my movies than some.
I think, overall, Japanese films and anime tend to leave a lot for imagination and assumption. I was watching the commentary on Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and was SHOCKED how much I just didn't get from the film, that would have helped the entire thing be better.
It's something that I struggle with when writing, the idea that you think something is obvious but if the audience or readers don't get it without you explaining it, then it isn't there. You can defend your work if you like, but if nobody sees what you see then you have to step back and realize that it's your fault, not theirs.
Pulse felt like that to me. I really have no idea what the director/writer was trying to convey. Something about lonliness? A commentary on a perverse version of The Rapture? Something about ghosts overflowing into reality? Something about computer graphics?
I don't know. There was so much there, and nothing was ever really laid out. I don't need everything given to me on a silver platter, but I do like to understand SOMETHING before I'm done. I felt this way about White Noise too, because at the end I just didn't understand almost anything that went on during the film.
I think the American version of this one looks to just go completly in the wrong direction with it though. I'm one of the rare, rare few that really loved the American version of The Grudge. It scared me half to death, I was literally biting my fingers during tense scenes. But I think that there's a big difference between me and the average horror audience. I don't like gore, could do completly without it. I think that gore, 99% of the time, only detracts from the true fright.
You know what I find almost scarier than anything? Not disembodied limbs, or guys with machetes and hockey masks. Mirrors and other reflective surfaces.
Because one day, you could look into it and not see what is supposed to be there. And then what would you do? That's the kind of scare I want. I think the American Pulse that's coming out in the next few weeks (can't remember when) is going to go with the wrong kind of scare. The Japanese film could have really been frightening, but there were just too many instances of me going "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? WHERE ARE YOU?"
Seriously, there's an entire scene that I have no clue where it happened. I don't even know if they were still in Tokyo. But the American one? Yeah, when people crawl out of laundry machines I just lose all desire to care. Dark Water and Identity have both been down the creepy washing machine route.