Attempted J-Horror ‘One Missed Call’ Instead Grudgingly Makes Us Laugh

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Average: 2.2 (13 votes)

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1/5CHICAGO – Hello, J-Horror. Please hang up and dial again. In fact, the message “please hang up and dial again” should have been given to director Eric Valette before accepting Takashi Miike’s remake “One Missed Call” as his American directorial debut.

Hollywood’s successful calling to remake mediocre J-Horror films has finally ended with this tragic interpretation of “Chakushin Ari” in which an evil spirit haunts the cellular phone network for a group of bad-acting college friends.

Shannyn Sossamon in One Missed Call
Shannyn Sossamon in “One Missed Call”.
Photo credit: IMDb

When Beth Raymond (played by Shannyn Sossamon) finds that her friends are dying horrible deaths after receiving phone calls leading to strange voicemails with their own voices, she teams up with Jack Andrews (Ed Burns) to discover the truth.

One melodious ring tone after another helps these two easily forgettable characters discover that their future selves are responsible for these disturbing messages of death.

Sossamon’s performance is riddled with languid quotations like: “Monday? But it’s only Friday!” and “Let’s get rid of these phones!”

Burns’ screen time is an equally brutal match when both show absolutely no theatrical emotion after the gruesome losses of friends and loved ones throughout the film.

Ana Claudia Talancon in One Missed Call
Ana Claudia Talancón in “One Missed Call”.
Photo credit: IMDb

A twisted tale of a bad cellular network, haunted asthma medication, red-rock candies and a ridiculous peep-hole phobia string along this often laughable and non-existent storyline.

Unexplained hallucinations of insects and masked figures pop in and out of scenes in an attempt to fulfill the film’s genre needs.

The predictable child-abuse backgrounds are told while completing a consistent job of confusing the viewer with unnecessary imagery and tragic elements.

Shocking sound effects occasionally remind the audience that this is in fact a horror film and seem to be the film’s only positive feature throughout such a cinematic nightmare.

In Takashi Miike’s version, he shows the audience “B”-grade horror images and occasional jump-out-of-your-seat moments to leave the viewer with a subtle yet frightening bewilderment.

Valette’s take hardly falls into the horror genre at all and might fare better as a low-grade comedy with its several laugh-out-loud moments.

As for this J-Horror remake, the phone terror theme is tired and Valette’s version is even more predictable than the original. If it’s going to call itself a horror, then don’t make us laugh.

“One Missed Call” opened on Jan. 4, 2008.

HollywoodChicago.com staff writer Allison Pitaccio

By ALLISON PITACCIO
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
allee@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2007 Allison Pitaccio, HollywoodChicago.com

pattiaccio's picture

missed call

Allee,
I don’t think I will be seeing this movie….thank you for saving my money.

PatrickMcD's picture

They Just Keep Doing This

I had a friend in the “film” business once who told me that horror films always sell. I would like to amend that statement — GOOD horror films always sell.

Hollywood seems to want to kill this genre, not only with the gore and torture porn, but with just plain bad movies. It seems every couple of weeks a new splashy marketing campaign emerges for a “must-see” horror film. And after it gets its 10 million opening, it disappears like Tara Reed’s career.

Horror fans, start cranking out some decent screenplays. But after the strike.

Hank’s in a band! www.myspace.com/thetelepaths

Anonymous's picture

Yeahh...

I think it’s a shame that Japanese horror-films are getting a bad rep. because of the poor production by Americans. I truly appreciated all of the One Missed Call films, in addition to all of Miike Takashi’s movies. However, it seems that America just can’t make them the same. I’m not sure if they just don’t want to be as raw as Japan is or what, but they need to step it up. The storylines are always amazing, but I’ve heard countless times of how Americans don’t like the film. Maybe it’s because we were raised on gorror films instead of the psycho-thrillers. I love that J-Horror films are coming over to America, I just hate that they’re getting ruined as well.

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