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THE MOVIE: Pulse

THE STARS:
Kristen Bell • Christina Milian • Ian Somerhalder
DIRECTOR: Jim Sonzero

A sea of hands THE CONCEPT:
Based on the 2001 Japanese Horror film Kairo. When student Mattie’s (Kristen Bell) boyfriend, computer geek Josh, commits suicide, she becomes aware that everyone, everywhere is being attacked through their electronic equipment, and killed by ghosts from another dimension.

U.S. RELEASE: August 11 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

Have you seen the Japanese version, Kairo?
KRISTEN BELL:

“I did, yeah. I didn’t watch it until after I was cast in the American one, but I loved it when I saw it. We changed a lot of things, mainly to condense the characters because I think that American audiences are more used to following one character, whereas Kairo is more a series of vignettes, because there’s so many more characters.”

So your character is a combination of characters?
BELL:

“I think she’s definitely the two girls that you’re following, as one. We also made her a little bit of what people are expecting when you have a female heroine. We made her a little tough.”

What drew you to this project?
BELL:

“There’s something spectacularly creepy about Pulse, because it deals with technology that we use every minute of every day. The thought of something deadly infiltrating an object that you’re so comfortable with – your computer – is scary. There’s something very unsettling about the film, even after you’re done watching it.”

Were there any scenes that were particularly challenging for you as an actress?
BELL:

“Definitely the one in the beginning where I see Josh [Jonathan Tucker] hang himself. As an actor, I use a lot of substitution, like, ‘What if this had happened to me?’ and it was hard to go there and think about what that would actually feel like, to see your boyfriend, or anybody, [hang themselves] right in front of you. So that kind of rocked me. Mattie goes through some traumatic events. Also, seeing the person jump off of the water tower, and then, when we actually had to see the dummy fall, it was a little unsettling.”

Do you feel that technology is driving us further apart or bringing us together?
BELL:

“I think it’s a combination. Obviously, it’s done great things for us. But I think there is a point when it does start to make you reclusive, because you’re concentrating so much more on the device than you are the actual communication. Like when you’re on your computer and, all of a sudden, you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s 4 am. I’ve been here nine hours, sitting at my screen.’ I know everybody’s done it. The idea of text messaging and emailing really is supposed to provide for more communication, but it doesn’t because then you don’t call people and you don’t see them. The idea of writing a letter is just ancient now, which is kind of crazy because five years ago, it wasn’t. We’ve come farther in five years, I think, than we have in 50.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Pulse site
Images above © The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #674, September 2006 cover

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