One Missed Call (2003 film)

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One Missed Call
One-missed-call-poster.jpg
Japanese theatrical release poster
Directed by Takashi Miike
Produced by Yoichi Arishige
Fumio Inoue
Kazuo Kuroi
Hiroshi Okawa
Naoki Sato
Screenplay by Minako Daira
Based on Chakushin Ari 
by Yasushi Akimoto
Starring Kou Shibasaki
Shinichi Tsutsumi
Kazue Fukiishi
Anna Nagata
Renji Ishibashi
Atsushi Ida
Mariko Tsutsui
Music by Kôji Endô
Cinematography Hideo Yamamoto
Edited by Yasushi Shimamura
Production
  company
Kadokawa Pictures
Distributed by Toho Company
Release date(s)
Running time 112 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Budget $1.7 million[1]
Box office $16,234,612[2]

One Missed Call (着信アリ Chakushin ari?) is a 2003 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Miike and written by Minako Daira. The film is based on the novel Chakushin Ari by Yasushi Akimoto.[3] The plot revolves around Yumi Nakamura, a young psychology student whose friend Yoko gets an unusual voice message on her cell phone. The message is dated two days in the future and Yoko can hear herself screaming in it. After Yoko mysteriously dies, her death sets off a chain of events which leads Yumi to discover that this phenomenon has been occurring throughout Japan long before Yoko received an anonymous call from her future self. When Yumi receives a call with the date and time of her future death, she struggles to save herself and learn the identity of the mastermind behind the calls.

In 2008, it was remade in the US as One Missed Call.

Plot[edit]

College student Yoko Okazaki visits her friends on a restaurant in Tokyo after attending a memorial service of her high school friend, Rina, who was found drowned during a diving trip. While changing clothes, she receives a phone call accompanied by an eerie, unusual ringtone, which goes to a voicemail after having left unpicked. The call is from Yoko's own number, dated two days to the future. Yoko and her friend Yumi Nakamura listen to the voicemail, hearing Yoko's voice chatting casually, followed by a horrendous scream and then dead silence. Two days later, after a psychology lecture concerning child abuse, Yoko leaves for work and later calls Yumi that night to discuss plans for shopping. As time goes on, Yumi realizes that Yoko goes on the exact routine as the voicemail they heard before, but can only hear as Yoko is screaming after she is violently dragged off through a chain-link fence onto a speeding commuter train below, which crashes into her and tears her body into pieces, killing her. Her head then vomits a red candy upon death as her detached hand, still clutching her phone, calls a number. Several days later, Yumi goes on a debate with Yoko's boyfriend, Kenji Kawai, and the latter eventually reveals that he had received a voicemail accompanied by the same ringtone as Yoko's right after her death, dated just two minutes from that time. Yumi then watches as Kenji is pulled into an empty elevator shaft to his death, the latter spitting out a red candy and calling a number, like Yoko. Yumi is taken into questioning by a detective, but she can only convey that Kenji's death is supernatural.

A colleague of Yumi's, Natsumi Konishi, is staying at Yumi's apartment when she receives the cursed voicemail, this time accompanied by a video showing Natsumi being spooked by a ghastly figure. Her attempt to discard the phone is futile as she keeps receiving the mails on other phones, and she is taken by a TV crew to attend an exorcism. Desperate, Yumi meets with Hiroshi Yamashita, a detective whom she noticed had investigated about the curse. Yamashita reveals that his sister, Ritsuko, was a social care worker and received the voicemail, suffered from third-degree burns during a house fire, and eventually died. Despite them trying to help Natsumi, whose exorcism is a disaster, she is killed when her body horribly contorts. Her head is then twisted off her shoulders, and her body staggers several steps before collapsing, dead. Yumi receives the cursed voicemail shortly after.

Yumi and Yamashita learn from Ritsuko's journal that she took care of two children, Mimiko and Nanako Mizunuma, whose mother, Marie, was suspected of abusing them for the sake of attention. Mimiko succumbed to her asthma attack a year before, while Marie was last seen on a hospital, now destroyed after a fire. Only Nanako is identifiable; she is mute and carries a doll ringing with a tone Yamashita recognizes as the ringtone of the cursed voicemail. Yumi braces herself to visit the abandoned hospital, but is spooked by ghosts until she meets Yamashita. During a lockdown, the two find Marie's decomposed body clutching a cellphone. The body rises and blasts Yamashita out of the room. It follows Yumi, who reminisces of her abusive mother and hugs Marie's body, which becomes inanimate again.

Yamashita is called to Nanako's orphanage to watch a nanny cam Marie had used to monitor her children. The cam shows that Marie never abused her children; instead, it was Mimiko, who cut Nanako's hand that resulted in Marie taking the latter to the hospital while Mimiko succumbed to her asthma. Realizing that Mimiko is behind the curse, Yamashita races to Yumi's apartment as Yumi is spooked by Mimiko's ghost. Upon arriving, Yumi assures everything is alright, but she stabs Yamashita, revealing that she has been possessed by Mimiko. Yamashita dreams that he helps a dying Mimiko to breathe with an inhaler. Upon waking, he is in a hospital with Yumi carrying a knife. Spitting a candy for Yamashita to eat, she waits as he chews it and subsequently laughs.

Cast[edit]

Character Japan Actor (Original) United States English Dub
Yumi Nakamura Kou Shibasaki Kate Higgins
Hiroshi Yamashita Shinichi Tsutsumi Liam O'Brien
Natsumi Konishi Kazue Fukiishi Stephanie Sheh
Nanako Mizunuma Shimizu Seinami Karen Strassman
Masakazu Hirayama ???? Doug Stone
Yoko Okazaki Anna Nagata Karen Strassman
Detective Renji Ishibashi Michael McConnohie
Kenji Kawai Atsushi Ida Sam Riegel
Rina Tsuchiya Kana Ito ????
Marie Mizunuma Mariko Tsutsui Sam Carr
Ritsuko Yamashita Takehana Azusa Cristina Valenzuela
Mimiko Mizunuma Karen Oshima Karen Strassman
Ichiro Fujieda Yutaka Matsuchige Kim Strauss
Oka Goro Kishitani Joe Cappelletti
Additional voices - Stephanie Sheh
Steve Staley (Phone Salesman)
Karen Thompson (Voicemail)

Critical reception[edit]

One Missed Call has received mixed reviews by critics, who generally cite it as being too similar to previous J-horror films such as Ring and Ju-on: The Grudge.[4]

Entertainment Weekly wrote, "One Missed Call is so unoriginal that the movie could almost be a parody of J-horror tropes", yet "Miike, for a while at least, stages it with a dread-soaked visual flair that allows you to enjoy being manipulated."[5] LA Weekly called it "a prolonged, maddening, predictable—yet curiously pleasurable—descent into incomprehensibility."[4] The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that "Miike, whose work usually veers into more surreal, experimental terrain, uses creepy-crawly juxtaposition, grisly violence, and dark humor to create a nightmare scenario for the text-message generation."[6]

Sequels[edit]

A sequel, One Missed Call 2 was released in 2005. One Missed Call, a ten-episode Japanese television drama was released the same year. One Missed Call: Final, the third installment and the end to the Chakushin ari mythos was released in 2006.

Remake[edit]

In 2008, Warner Bros. remade the film as One Missed Call, starring Shannyn Sossamon.

References[edit]

External links[edit]