Science fiction and fantasy
directed by Jim Sonzero
A few days later Josh's girlfriend, Mattie (Kristen Bell), is wondering where he is. She hasn't seen him in days, but he's behaving oddly and leaving her unusual messages. When she does go to visit him she is confronted by filthy student digs that haven't been cleaned in days. It stinks, and there are things dying in cupboards or living in the fridge, evidence of the kind of decay and neglect that suggests a disturbed mind. Mattie's a psychology student, but she can't make any sense of what is happening.
A spate of suicides breaks out on campus, all with the same hallmarks. People develop strange bruising after getting attacked by the creatures. The bruising spreads around their bodies, and with it goes their will to live. It seems that no-one is immune to this curious plague, and when Mattie's group of friends start to show symptoms things get serious.
Mattie tracks down Dexter (Ian Somerhalder), a guy who bought Josh's stolen computer. The machine is behaving strangely, showing clips of suicides and working even when unplugged, as though it's a haunted computer. Pulse plays to our fears of our over-reliance on technology, and it's full of machines that seem to be connected to some kind of otherworld beyond the grave. The machine is a conduit for infection. It's a tense and gloomy film, full of grey and brown shades and images of twisted, tortured souls, their disfigurement ramping up the horror. The movie employs all of the usual tricks to induce fear, and doesn't make too bad a job of it, considering computers are not really the most menacing of objects.
The ending is a little unexpected, although perhaps it's too open-ended. Not all movies deserve a sequel, and this one is borderline at best. It works as a single film, but sometimes it's better to have one story that ends fully rather than always leaving the plot open in the desperate hope that a sequel could be made. Pulse is okay, it's suspenseful and interesting. But the imagery is too familiar and the concept too well-worn for more of the same to be in order.
If you like this, try:The Reaping by Stephen Hopkins
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