Monday, April 28, 2008

One Missed Call

Re-making Japanese horror movies seems to be all the rage lately. We’ve had The Ring, The Ring 2, The Grudge, The Grudge 2, and probably some others that I don’t even know about. In the spirit of Japanese adaptations past, comes One Missed Call.

One by one, a group of college students are dying off, but not before each of them receives a strange call on their cell phone, from one of the previous victims. Of course this is somewhat tricky, as all of these previous victims are, of course, dead…(kind of pre-requisite for being a victim)…and really shouldn’t be able to make phone calls. Why none of the kids actually answer the calls when they come in is something of a mystery…each of them just lets the phone ring until the ringing stops and the screen ominously displays “One Missed Call.” When listening to their voicemails, they each hear a message containing their own voices, sometimes terrified, sometimes unexpecting…but their speech is always interrupted by their own death. The voicemails are always “left” at the exact day and time, in the future, when they will die. Kind of crappy, right?

The kids take out their batteries, they smash their phones, they do whatever they can think of to stop the cycle…but to no avail. The phones keep on ringing. You’d think, though, that they would maybe learn to NOT say the things that they are saying in the voicemails. Especially at the exact time when they are told they’ll die. I mean…MAYBE that would work. We never find out, though, because none of them try it. Instead they all repeat the words, verbatim, at the precise moment that they are meant to say them, and then die.

I wonder if the folks in Japan ever get bored with their horror movies. Things get pretty predictable from here on out. There is one girl who is determined to figure out what is causing the deaths of her friends before any more of them are victimized. Doing some detective work, she finds that that culprit is an unholy spirit, who is dead set on vengeance against anyone any everyone. Sound familiar? Yeah, to me, too. Whether or not our heroine will find the spirit and thwart it, all the while finding love with the only person who believes her, a detective whose sister was an early victim of the villain, is something I’ll let you find out on your own.

I’m not saying that One Missed Call isn’t scary. It has some very effective scares, and does just what it is supposed to do. One of these days, however, I’m just hoping that one of these movies from Japan will come up with something a little more original, instead of playing essentially out the same old story in a different way. If we're treated, in a year or two, to One Missed Call 2, or Another Missed Call, or anything of the sort...I just might have to skip it.