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75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

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

Special Features

  • The featurette “The Making of Pulse”
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Haruhiko Katô, Kumiko Asô, 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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E0OE4O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,024 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pulse" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By William Sibick on February 19, 2006
Format: DVD
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 on March 25, 2007
Format: DVD
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 By A. Smith on 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Evan Harris on October 31, 2006
Format: DVD
I love horror movies. Love them. Sometimes though, that love keeps me from enjoying alot of them. I feel I've seen so many that typical scares don't work anymore. Or is it that most movies are so derivative and void of any true desire to unsettle an audince that they really don't work on anyone. Either way, theres nothing more frustrating than going to see a movie that you expect to scare you and realizing that its just more of the same crap. I love either having a good time with a horror movie or being terrified by it and Kairo definatly fits into the latter category.
The story is basically a simple one, ghosts are taking over by using the internet to breach our world. Anyone who encounters one can't take it and kills themselves. Thats pretty much it, on the surface... but the movie has so much more going on for it as far as a statement about how technology is driving us as humans apart, but thats not why we're watching it is it? The main question is, is it scary and I can answer "oh my God yes!"
The first half of the movie adds so many subtle touches and presents scenes that end in jarring scares in such a way that they shock you and make you realize you haven't seen anything like this before. kurosawa knows how to craft a scene that seems to be going nowhere end with a bang, but a quiet one. Thats what got me, the fact that I almost never saw the scares coming and they were so a part of the scenery almost that it really seemed as if Id just seen a ghost, until the first time you actually see one in all its glory creeping towards one of the lead characters. I can truly say I've never seen a ghost in any movie move like that and I don't know that I want to again.
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