ONE MISSED CALL

PG_13, 87 min, 2008

Director: Eric Valette
Writers: Andrew Klavan (screenplay), Yasushi Akimoto (novel Chakushin ari), Minako Daira (screenplay Chakushin ari) (as Miwako Daira)

Stars: Edward Burns, Shannyn Sossamon, Ana Claudia Talancón

One Missed Call is yet another Japanese horror remake; when will they learn? And by “they” I mean the idiots (studio executives) in Hollywood. And by “learn” I mean stop giving the micro-idiots (would-be filmmakers) access to paper and cameras and various film equipment and budgets and things.

Shannyn Sossamon “stars” as Beth Raymond, a college student whose friend was killed – right after receiving a voicemail message from the future prognosticating as much. In fact, the messages appear to be happening right before the murders. Weird, right?

So Beth decides to trust in Detective Jack Andrews (Edward Burns), whose sister was, apparently, the first victim of these “killer phone calls.” And there are several violent murders, and hard red candies in the mouths of the victims (including Azura Skye, sort of a quirky-looking, poor man’s Drew Barrymore type, who is lucky she opted out when she did), and Ray Wise as an over-the-top “Unsolved Mysteries”-esque TV host who decides to exploit the cell phone possession as an episode subject, and on and on.

Eric Valette, the “director” (a.k.a. some guy who was hired to remake Asian horror’s burgeoning master Takashi Miike’s original 2003 film), has no sense of style or rhythm, the screenplay consists mostly of murders and mild expletives designed to show, I guess, alarm and/or frustration, and the performances are roughly as wooden as the apartment door that Sossamon’s character seems to be so afraid of at one point. Need I say more?

Note: According to the credits, not only is this a remake of the 2003 Takashi Miike film but both were adapted from a novel by Yasushi Akimoto. So, in effect, this is an English-language adaptation of a Japanese adaptation of a Japanese novel. Fathom that.

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