Pulse (2006 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jim Sonzero|
|Produced by||Michael Leahy
|Screenplay by||Wes Craven
by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
|Music by||Elia Cmiral|
|Edited by||Robert K. Lambert
Kirk M. Morri
|Distributed by||The Weinstein Company Dimension Films|
|Box office||$30 million|
Pulse is a 2006 American horror film written by Wes Craven and Ray Wright, and directed by Jim Sonzero. It is a remake of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 Japanese horror film Kairo. The film stars Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder and Christina Milian. The film spawned two straight-to-DVD sequels: Pulse 2: Afterlife and Pulse 3.
When Josh Ockmann (Jonathan Tucker) enters a dark university library intending to meet his friend Douglas Ziegler (Kel O'Neill), he is attacked by a humanoid spirit that sucks the life force out of him. Some days later, Josh's girlfriend, Mattie Webber (Kristen Bell), visits his apartment, seeing evidence that it has not been well kept. Josh tells Mattie to wait in the kitchen while he walks off. While waiting she finds Josh's pet cat, locked in a closet and dying from severe malnutrition. But when she rushes to tell him, she finds he has committed suicide by hanging himself with an Ethernet cable.
Mattie and her friends begin to receive online messages from Josh asking for help but assume that Josh's computer is still on and that a virus is creating the messages. Mattie learns that Josh's computer has been sold to Dex McCarthy (Ian Somerhalder), who finds a number of strange videos on the computer. Mattie receives a package that Josh mailed two days prior to his death. Inside are rolls of red tape and a message telling her that the tape keeps "them" out, although he does not know why. Later, Dex visits Mattie and shows her video messages Josh was sending to Ziegler. Josh had hacked Ziegler's computer system and then distributed a virus. This virus had unlocked a portal that connected the realm of the living to the realm of the dead. Josh believed he had coded a counter to the virus and wanted to meet Ziegler at the library. Josh's counter-program is found on a memory stick taped inside the PC case with red tape.
Dex and Mattie visit Ziegler and find his room entirely plastered in red tape. They believe the red tape keeps the spirits out. Ziegler tells them of a project he worked on where he found "frequencies no one knew existed." Opening these frequencies somehow allowed the spirits to travel to the world of the living. Ziegler also tells them that these spirits "take away your will to live" and where to find the main server infected with the virus.
Dex and Mattie find the server and upload Josh's fix, causing the system to crash and the spirits to vanish. Moments later, however, the system reboots and the spirits return leaving Mattie and Dex with no option but to flee the city by car. Over the car radio, Mattie and Dex hear a report from the Army announcing the location of several "safe zones" where there are no Internet connections, cell phones, or televisions. As Dex and Mattie drive to a safe zone, the film concludes with a voice-over from Mattie saying "We can never go back. The cities are theirs. Our lives are different now. What was meant to connect us to one another instead connected us to forces that we could have never imagined. The world we knew is gone, but the will to live never dies. Not for us, and not for them." Clips of abandoned cities are shown, including a window of an apartment with Josh looking through it.
- Kristen Bell as Mattie Webber
- Ian Somerhalder as Dexter "Dex" McCarthy
- Christina Milian as Isabelle "Izzie" Fuentes
- Rick Gonzalez as Stone
- Jonathan Tucker as Josh Ockmann
- Samm Levine as Tim Steinberg
- Octavia Spencer as Landlady
- Ron Rifkin as Dr. Waterson
- Joseph Gatt as Über Phantom
- Kel O'Neill as Douglas Ziegler
- Zach Grenier as Professor Cardiff
- Riki Lindhome as Janelle
- Robert Clotworthy as Calvin
- Brad Dourif as Thin Bookish Guy
In 2003, Wes Craven signed to write and direct the film. However, the project was pulled from the schedule by producer Bob Weinstein before shooting. Subsequently, Craven's screenplay was rewritten by Ray Wright for the film that was ultimately made by director Jim Sonzero. Talking to Fangoria at the time of the film's release, Craven said he was not involved in the making of the film, stating "I have had no influence at all on the film they are about to release."
Release and reception
The film's planned release date was March 3, 2006, but was delayed until August 11, 2006. Upon release, Pulse was widely panned by critics, with a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus "Another stale American remake of a successful Japanese horror film, Pulse bypasses the emotional substance of the original and overcompensates with pumped-up visuals and every known horror cliche."
The film grossed over $8 million in its opening weekend in the United States. By its close on October 12, 2006, the film had grossed just over $20 million in the U.S., along with the foreign box office total just over $7.5 million, for a worldwide take of almost $28 million, compared with a production budget of approximately $20.5 million. As a DVD rental, the film has grossed a further $25 million.