It's hard to follow in the eerie, stylized footsteps of Japanese horror, especially with a PG-13 rating, and Pulse only makes an adequate attempt. Based on Kiyoshi Kurosawa's ominous movie of the same name, the remake achieves its goal of capturing a similar lonely message: Our wireless ways seem to connect us, but they also isolate us further.
By keeping Kristen Bell in goodie-girl Veronica Mars character, however, director Jim Sonzero misses opportunities for the intense, bloodcurdling moments that defined its predecessor. Bell joins Lost's Ian Somerhalder to try to stop phantoms from infecting an entire human race via WiFi. The film's visual effects raise some hairs, and the creepy image of Christina Milian's character (post-infection) lingers long after the closing credits. But the subtle mystery of the original is lost through over-the-top scenes, and all that's left is a Terminator-style ending that not so gently suggests a sequel. Maybe next time, there'll be some scream-worthy scares.
--Sydne Summer
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