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Monday, 2 November 2009

One Missed Call (2008 remake)

Why do I put myself through watching remakes? I really don't know. Occasionally they can kick all kids of backside, such as the Zack Snyder remake of Dawn Of The Dead, but for the most part they are far from satisfying as films go. This 2008 remake of the 2003 Japanese horror flick Chakushin Ari plays like a Final Destination film rip-off instead of the release it was based on. The cast, aside from Shannyn Sossamon, are woeful. There are some nice effects sequences but little else to write home about.

This by-the-numbers remake is light on scares and heavy on postmodern apathy towards telling a decent story. After the first fifteen minutes you can pretty much plan out the rest of the film in its entirety. Aside from a couple of beats, I was spot on. Blah, people getting picked off one by one, blah, refusal of other characters to believe until it's too late, blah. You get the idea.

Where the Japanese version is cut together in a much more suspenseful fashion, this remake is devoid of any of the tension of that film, instead relying on music cues and the constantly constipated expressions of the cast. From the second act onwards the film plays like a weird mix of CSI, The X-Files and Urban Legend rather than anything else, and for much of its length you're either bored of waiting things to happen or bored of following the dots.

Cinematography is pedestrian at best, the scare sequences look like music videos and between those sequences the viewer is treated to prolonged slabs of tedium. Once again, after The Ring and The Grudge etc, we are reminded that remakes are for the most part a stupid idea. I was hoping for a good watch with this movie, and was seriously let down. One missed call? One missed opportunity, more like.

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