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directed by Eric Valette
Japan/USA/Germany 2008

 

When her friends start receiving phone calls from the future depicting their own deaths and then dying at the predetermined times, psych-student-with-a-traumatic-childhood Beth (Shannon Sossamon) teams up with detective Andrews (Edward Burns) to investigate the link between her friends' deaths and that of his own sister to a mysterious fire at a hospital at which his sister and one of Beth's dead friends interned at. They discover that the first of Beth's friends to die received a call from Andrews' sister (after her death) and that his sister received a call from a Marie Leyton (Rhoda Griffis) who was suspected of child abuse and whose daughter died of an asthma attack at the hospital the day of the fire (and whose body was never found). After Beth's friend Taylor (Ana Claudia Talancón) is killed by supernatural forces during a televised exorcism, Beth and Andrews race against the clock when she subsequently receives a call foretelling her own death.

The American remake of ONE MISSED CALL is bad but not as bad as I expected from a remake of an Asian horror film. The reason for this is because the Japanese original was a tongue-in-cheek spin on the popular J-horror genre so the American version's more straightforward approach doesn't draw direct comparisons with the finer points of the original (although the major set-piece death in the remake is nowhere near as audacious as that of the original). Lead Sossamon fares well as does Burns but only because his "in it for the paycheck" non-committal performance suits the cardboard character. Ray Wise embodies his supporting role effortlessly while Margaret Cho is wasted as a fellow cop (and forced to utter a lame comic relief line while looking like she'd rather not). Talancón and a prominently credited though killed before the opening credits Megan Good are okay in performances that bookend the more annoying and flat performances of the film's other two victims. Jason Beghe is credited but I honestly can't remember seeing him in the film. But the 7 minutes or so of opening and end credits padding of an 87 minute film suggest that it was likely cut down. Whittled down of most of any subtle sense of buildup (as if the audience either knows the overly familiar story or don't need to see the process of the protagonist deducing the supernatural and coming to accept it), the film revels in the genre clichés of J-horror (creepy children, ghosts taking over technology) and recent stylistic clichés of American horror (CGI-manipulated faces of passersby a la EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE), indistinct figures zipping by in the foreground or background (underlined by surround channel droning), and throws in a demonic CGI baby that is only slightly more scary than those dancing animated babies that persecuted ALLY MCBEAL a few years ago.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 4 January 2008 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:45
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.61 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• fullscreen version on side B

DVD Release Date:  August 18th, 2008
Amaray

Chapters 19

 

Comments

Warner's R1 edition of ONE MISSED CALL is a two-sided disc offering the film in similar-looking 16:9 widescreen and 4:3 fullscreen editions with English, French, and Spanish 5.1 audio options and English SDH subtitles.

There are no extra features whatsoever; not even the usual EPK fluff expected of such a film from such a release company but the R1 US release is also reportedly a barebones widescreen/fullscreen flipper disc.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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