The American remake is nothing compared to this. The original is way more deep.
Amazon.comA 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