Japanese horror + bad CGI x nonsense = One Missed Call.
The only thing scary about this film is the ringtone that heralds the missed call announcing your death. Actually, there is something scarier about it, how ridiculous the story is and how poorly executed it is.
People are getting phone calls and the message left is of their own death, handily with the time it will happen. Strange things appear. They die in various horrible ways. Then a red marble appears… really.
This happens to a friend of a friend of Beth (Shannyn Sossaman). Then the friend dies, then another friend. Beth becomes a little spooked out (shocker). She meets detective Jack Andrews (Ed Burns) whose sister died mysteriously.
They team up to unravel the mystery, which becomes a race against time when Beth receives her own missed call. Needless to say its pretty silly.
The story is not the worst thing about the film. The CGI is so astoundingly awful that it completely fails to be scary. I can safely say that it is the second worst use of CGI I have ever seen, only beaten by the astoundingly poor effects in John Carpenter’s Escape from LA.
As the film drags on – lived only by a brief appearance by Ray Wise – I started to feel increasingly sorry for Shannyn Sossaman (not Ed Burns – he deserves everything he gets with his annoyingly whispery voice). She tries very hard to make it a convincing thriller, but even her efforts can’t make you care. Shame.
I haven’t seen the original Japanese version, but I would hope it is somewhat better than this.
It represents just one of the many ways Japanese horror manages to bring technology into the genre, and could be interesting with the right treatment. Which it unfortunately doesn’t receive here.
Just another reason to hold back on the incessant remakes, and make me dread the forthcoming ones).
Additional film information: One Missed Call (2008)