Pulse

Total Film - - Contents -

Is Kuro­sawa’s scare story the best of this cen­tury?

2001 OUT NOW Dual For­mat EX­TRAS Mak­ing Of, Fea­turettes, Book­let

Ijust got the creeps,” says one char­ac­ter in Kiyoshi Kuro­sawa’s hor­ror mas­ter­piece, and you’ll know just what she means. The story of ghosts in­vad­ing our world via the in­ter­net might sound like tosh – and is, as Kuro­sawa freely ad­mits, a copy of Hideo Nakata’s Ringu – but mas­tery of mood es­tab­lishes it as the finest film of the J-hor­ror cy­cle and one of the very best hor­rors of the 21st Cen­tury.

Find­ing di­lap­i­da­tion and des­o­la­tion amid the bright lights of Tokyo, Kuro­sawa paints ev­ery de­sat­u­rated frame in dread, his lonely pro­tag­o­nists soaked in sad­ness as their at­tempts to con­nect via tech­nol­ogy only deepen their des­per­a­tion. The low-lit, smudged vi­su­als de­mand that your panic-widened eyes scru­ti­nise ev­ery cor­ner of ev­ery com­po­si­tion, but in vain: fear seeps into your pores to smother your soul.

The trans­fer is im­pec­ca­ble, and ex­tras on Ar­row’s disc in­clude an archive Mak­ing Of and a best-avoided fea­turette on the ef­fects (some­times it’s bet­ter to main­tain the mys­tery). A new, lengthy in­ter­view with Kuro­sawa tracks his ori­gins in ‘pink’ films (erot­ica) and straight-to-video thrillers, and sees the Ja­panese mas­ter (his Cure and Ret­ri­bu­tion are also both five stars) list Pulse’s in­flu­ences: Godzilla, Sus­piria, Cro­nen­berg’s genre/art films and, bizarrely, Tobe Hooper’s The Fun­house and The Man­gler. You haven’t seen any­thing quite like Pulse, though

– and that in­cludes the go­daw­ful 2006 Hol­ly­wood re­make. Jamie Gra­ham

She’s clearly not got the memo about pri­vate space on public trans­port.

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