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PULSE aka KAIRO
USA: Magnolia Pictures
Cast: Haruhiko Kato, Kumiko Aso, Koyuki, Kurume Arisaka, Masatoshi Matsuo, Kenji Mizuhashi, Jun Fubuki, Shinji Takeda, Koji Yakusho, Shun Sugata, Sho Aikawa, Takumi Tanji, Hassei Takano, Atsushi Yuki, Go Takashima, Kaori Ichijo, Teruo Ono, Ken Furusawa, Akiko Kitamura, Zengoro Mamiana, Rie Yasuda, Masayuki Shionoya
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
USA: 110 mins
UK: 118 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains sustained psychological horror and suicides
USA Release Date: 18 November 2005 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 3 February 2006
Often referred to as one of the scariest films ever made, PULSE tells the story of a group of young friends rocked by the sudden suicide of one of their own, and his subsequent, ghostly reappearance in grainy computer and video images. Is he trying to contact them from beyond the grave or is there something more sinister afoot? The mysterious floppy disk they find in the dead man's apartment may provide a clue, but instead launches a program that seems to present odd, ethereal transmissions of people engaged in solitary activities in their apartments. But there is something not quite right in the appearance and behavior of these lonely souls. Soon, there are more strange deaths and disappearances within the group, terrifying rooms sealed in red tape, and the appearance of more ghosts as the city of Tokyo - and the world - is slowly drained of life.
Predating many of the Japanese horror (J-horror) films that have been re-made for American audiences (including THE GRUDGE, DARK WATER), PULSE was originally purchased by Miramax in 2001 to make way for a re-make. Eschewing gore and easy shocks for a harrowing tone unique to his cinema, writer/director Kiyoshi Kurosawa has made a dense and complex film whose metaphysical and psychological resonance will last long after the chills have subsided.