One Missed Call Eric Valette

One Missed Call Eric Valette
It’s rather disappointing that the first movie from prolific Japanese auteur Takashi Miike to receive the Hollywood remake treatment is Chakushin ari, his first foray into horror and easily the least inspired film of the latter portion of his career. However, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that they opted for that choice considering Hollywood’s recent obsession with Americanising Asian horror. And his other films, even remade, might just be a little too weird for the American mass market. Much like the J-horror remakes that have come before, Eric Valette’s One Missed Call removes the slow-to-build dread and tension that make their Japanese counterparts so creepy, and replaces them with the typical jumps and frights of straight-ahead Hollywood horror. One Missed Call is pretty much The Ring, except it cuts out the middle man by transferring the evil from a cursed videotape directly into a cell phone. The phone rings, you receive a voicemail recording of your last few moments of life and two days later, you die. And now the race is on for psych student Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) and detective Jack Andrews (Ed Burns) to discover the original source of this curse and put a stop to it before Beth, who has just received the ominous message, ends up dead. There is also a subplot about abuse and the beginnings of a tepid romance but the movie isn’t very scary, even when they reveal the Jacob’s Ladder-like hallucinations of those cursed by the call. And it looks like the studio understands the lameness of their product, too, as the DVD release contains nothing above and beyond the widescreen and full-screen formats of the movie. After all, why throw good money after bad, right? Normally I’d recommend watching the Japanese original instead, but I’m not even going to suggest that. If you want a Hollywood remake, you’re better off with The Ring or The Grudge. Or better yet, give something by Takashi Miike a try, like maybe Imprint, his controversial contribution to the Masters of Horror series. (Warner)