Pulse was an English-language remake of an Asian horror film. Mankind was
threatened when the dead found a way to return to our plane of existence
through cell phones and the wireless internet.
In Pulse 2, mankind has been almost completely destroyed by the soulless
ghosts. The cities and all hotbeds of technology are ruled by the ghosts.
The only safe places for humans are those where cell phone signals can't
reach. The storyline is about two divorced parents fighting over their
child. Oh, sure, mothers usually end up with custody, but in this instance
her case is a bit weaker than usual, given that she is dead. That's a
partial spoiler. At the beginning of the film neither we nor she are aware
that she has joined the choir invisible, and we follow her pursuit from her
point of view.
How could she not know she was dead? The ghosts, you see have their own
issues. They don't like to be dead, and they have found that wireless
technology allows them to fight back to our world, and even to get their
spirits inside the body of a living person. It seems at first that they have
successfully re-entered the living plane. Unfortunately for them, after all
that work they have various experiences which demonstrate that they are
still dead. In the mother's case, for example, she gets cut several times
with a knife, but does not bleed. C'est le morte!
The living father makes every effort to get his little girl someplace where
the mother can't reach her. He hears of an area in the Midwest somewhere
which is a safe harbor, and he makes his way there in his SUV ...
This straight-to-vid film is a blend of positives and negatives.
On the negative side:
There are some inconsistencies in the film's reality. (For example,
why does the electrical grid still work? There are street lamps and neon
lights working in the deserted cities. Are ghosts maintaining the power
The special effects are very poor. Too many scenes are done with
green-screen effects, and not the high tech kind we have seen in movies
like Sin City. The results look more like the hosted TV horror shows
from the sixties, where it was obvious that the Chiller or Mr. Inviso
was acting in front of a green screen because he and the background
seemed to be different colors or textures or to be moving at different
speeds. This sort of problem would not normally be a matter of great
concern to me, but in this film the effects are so poor that they break
the fourth wall and pull us out of the story because we constantly
notice the technical problems.
The only person who can save the world is Future Elmo, and only if
he is wearing some 3-D glasses left over from the original screening of
Creature from the Black Lagoon. (See below.)
On the positive side:
The film maintains a spooky atmosphere in general, and has several
genuinely tense/scary scenes.
I award a gold star for a daring surprise ending. It was totally
appropriate within the film's context, but I never thought they would
have the cojones to kill the good guy brutally in the middle of a
There is an inventive nude scene from Boti Bliss, who plays the
father's girlfriend. Sequels to remakes of Asian horror films will not
soon make my list of favorite cinema experiences, but I was impressed
with this unusual and oddly erotic scene.