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Pulse (2005)

Haruhiko Kat , Kumiko As , Kiyoshi Kurosawa  |  R |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Haruhiko Kat, Kumiko As, Koyuki, Kurume Arisaka, Masatoshi Matsuo
  • Directors: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Writers: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Producers: Atsuyuki Shimoda, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Ken Inoue, Seiji Okuda, Shun Shimizu
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E0OE4O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,276 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pulse" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The featurette “The Making of Pulse”
  • Trailer

Editorial Reviews

A simplistic way to describe this creepy, atmospheric entry into the J-horror genre would be to call it Ringu (and its Americanized cousin, The Ring) with computers and the Internet standing in for telephones and videotape. Pulse certainly has the right credentials of psychological drama and existential technique to make it a standout of the scary style that has made this variety of Asian film so popular worldwide. The mysterious ambiance is heightened by several intersecting stories that outwardly have little connection and add up to a real head-scratcher of an ending. Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa brings a consistently enigmatic touch to the disturbing plot threads. One of them concerns a young man who starts seeing strange onscreen images that appear to be ghosts trapped in his new computer. Being somewhat technologically illiterate he enlists a woman at the local university to help him interpret the bizarre visual messages he receives. The vibe becomes increasingly more unsettling, especially as his modem starts connecting itself to the Internet for communication from beings that seem to be trapped, unable to do anything but mumble chilling pleas for help. Startling suicides, shadowy smudges of human forms that appear on walls, rooms sealed with red masking tape that are opened to reveal unseen terrors, and deserted backstreets of a noir-tinged Tokyo are just some of the thematic images that make Pulse such a spooky, unanswerable entry into the world of first-rate J-horror classics. --Ted Fry

Product Description

Often referred to as one of the scariest films ever made, Pulse tells the story of a group of young friends rocked by the sudden suicide of one of their own and his subsequent ghostly reappearance in grainy computer and video images. Soon there are more

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Twist On Apocaliptic Tales. February 19, 2006
Many films have attempted the end of days. Zombie films such as Dawn Of The Dead, 28 Days Later, 12 Monkeys to name a few. All of them have their own story but never had their own Feel. Get Ready for PULSE. A J-horror film to it's own completely that will leave you thinking about the film long after a viewing.

To keep this short and without going into ruining the story for you. This is not like any Asian Horror film you've seen before. It's not for those looking for a gore fest but, those that like artistic films with a message may enjoy this much. It's not so easy to understand but in Japanese culture films don't spoon feed the story to the viewer. This way you get to take away from it what you feel and still (hopefully) understand the story. It's not so hard and you don't have to look far to see the undertone of this film is that we are all living in a world where we are all seperate. There is no sense of community and we are living like ghosts. If you aren't, then you're one of the few who isn't paralized by consumerism and (more importantly) internet. We've never been so connected yet so separate.

I think it's perfect for anyone planning on comparing the American release or who's in the mood for something deep and atmospheric. If you're into Teen horror flix or the famous blood soaked asian shock flix this is not for you. This is unto itself and will pull those viewers with a though process deep inside only to turn you out full of thoughts and urging for a second viewing.

Only dissapointment is the distribution company was so cheap that they FORCE you to watch their previews. If you try to skip them you can't get into the menu.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Rob
This is an excellent Japanese horror movie. It's thoughtful, creepy, unsettling & very well directed by Kurosawa Kiyoshi. On the one hand you have your standard urban horror themes of loneliness & technology-as-villain (in this case computers & the net). On the other there's this speculation about what might be waiting for us 'on the other side.' Is death, as one of the characters wonders aloud at one point, a chance to be reunited with loved ones & so no longer endure the day to day loneliness of life? But as things turn out, being dead is just as miserable & painful an experience for the ghosts as being alive is for the human characters, something Kurosawa demonstrates in a number of genuinely unsettling sequences.

Kiyoshi has an excellent & mature style - demonstrating a preference for long takes (a style that'll drive impatient teen horror fans up the wall) & shocks achieved within the frame rather than through flashy editing. Two sequences epitomise this - in one a young woman searches an apartment for her co-worker in vain while a shadowy figure rises silently from a chair at the back of the room behind her. It might not sound terribly creepy but honestly I think my heart skipped a beat when that happened. In the other - & this is undoubtedly one of the films most talked about moments - a woman jumps to her death & the camera unblinkingly records her fall & impact with no cutting away.

But don't get the idea this is some J-horror gorefest because it isn't. What's so refreshing for me about 'Pulse' is that rather than harping on gore & shocks for two hours the director takes the time to lay out an intriguing story. One in which ghosts are flooding back into our world because there's no more room in theirs.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch this version, not the remake September 12, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw the American remake first and was put off the idea of an original. Friends talked me into getting a copy (thank you) and as usual the original film is far and away the better version.

A very disturbing film about ghosts, technology, internet despair, loneliness, and the collapse of society.

Fascinating that special effects can be sparse, but you can have the wits scared out of you by one good professional contortionist. The movie does a great job of playing into visual and auditory notions of right and wrong.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the creepiest cries for help i've ever heard September 21, 2007
i saw this movie unfortunately after i saw the remake. the remake doesn't do it justice. while it may move slowly for some american audiences, it was a creepfest galore. it was mildly entertaining until one of the ghosts began whispering for help in japanese. that actor's voice scared the bejeezus out of me!! i had to leave the room, but even then, since by tv had stereo sound, i heard him in the back room! i had never been so glad when my family came home later that day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Death is surly the building block of the horror genre. No matter what the subject, every film comes back to that one basic fear. And why not? Nothing scares us more than the uncertainty of the grave. Pulse (aka Kairo) is a film that takes that fear one step further.

Produced in the wake of the Ring phenomenon, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2001 apocolyptic masterpiece was unfairly lost in the import shuffle before landing in the grubby hands of Miramax, where it was promptly shelved to pave the way for their upcoming remake (God help us) and give Harvey Weinstein a bigger bonus in his paycheck. Thankfully, Magnolia Pictures has swooped in to save the day after the studio's much-publicized split and fans everywhere finally have a chance to see one of horror's greatest unsung films. Pulse concerns a rash of suicides that seem to revolve around a strange internet site called "The Forbidden Room." Visitors are greated with eerie static web-cam images and begin to exhibit awkward and reclusive behavior soon after logging on. When a friend hangs himself in his apartment, a group of youngsters decide to investigate and stumble onto ghostly forces which are spreading at a global rate.

Kurosawa expertly fuses Japan's tech-based fears with his own avant-garde style and weaves a surreal nightmare that slowly caves in on the viewer. Using abandoned locales, ambient sound effects, and subtle creep-outs, this film has an atmosphere thick enough to insulate your house. The effect is like roaming through a twisted industrial maze where the dead lurk around every corner. While it may sound akin to countless Asian horrors, the story offers much more than long-haired ghosts skulking through the shadows.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful made, I love the dark background of the movie.
Published 7 days ago by Stevenson Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Old classic. Very scary, There pulse 1, ...
Old classic .Very scary ,There pulse 1,2,3. Gorey.
Published 2 months ago by Tim
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
There's a good build up of what is to come within this film. It brings you that creepy feeling without overdoing it or overusing too much of the same. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kizuna
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I couldn't find this title ANYWHERE!! Thank you Amazon for carrying the weird things I'm looking for, and thank you for offering full 24 hour+ rentals so I can watch confusing... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kjersti Gilthvedt
1.0 out of 5 stars aweful
this movie is so s****y literally worst movie ever me and my boy-friend wanted to kill ourselves after we watched it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by SofiaP
1.0 out of 5 stars Pulse didn't raise my pulse at all.
This film uses the Internet (which one character seems never to have heard of) as a metaphor for the anomie and despair felt by some young Japanese living in the poorer sections of... Read more
Published 10 months ago by S. Higley
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Creepy
I can tell that quite a few - but thankfully not all - the reviewers just don't "get" Japanese horror movies. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jay Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and really scary
Pulse (known as ''Kairo'' in Japan) is a Japanese horror movie written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Fuwwyfootpaws
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not finish it
Another one I started, and quickly lost interest in. can not say too much, since I did not see too much
Published 16 months ago by C. Modrzejewski
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow
Overall, disappointed. The movie is very slow. I don't mind a slow pace if the movie is interesting but it was just slow.
Published 17 months ago by CY
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