Pulse (2001)
February 21, 2023 8:32 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Original title: Kairo (회로). After college student Taguchi (Kenji Mizuhashi) commits suicide, a number of young adults living in Tokyo witness terrifying visions transferred across the Internet. As more people disappear throughout the city, the Internet becomes a breeding ground for malevolent spirits. Three seemingly disconnected stories follow Michi (Kumiko Aso), Ryosuke (Haruhiko Katô) and Harue (Koyuki) as they attempt to solve the mystery behind the ghostly visions that are seeping beyond their computer monitors.

Also starring Karumi Arisaka, Masatoshi Matsuo, Shun Sugata.

Written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

Not to be confused with the 2006 American remake, which is, by nearly all accounts, pretty bad.

76% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Hoopla, Crackle, Plex, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and Mubi. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My spouse and kid did not vibe on this, but it is sticking around in my head so I may watch it again soon.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:32 AM on February 21

I remember seeing this on a date of all things. It's not that I didn't like it, but holy hell was I depressed afterwards. Luckily we walked around the city for a bit and remember that not everything is so bleak.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:33 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Along with Cure and Bright Future (both of which share this film's 'slow apocalypse' idea) this is the best of Kurosawa. Also that ghost scene (you know the one) is just about one of the most unsettling things I've seen in a movie, ever.
posted by remembrancer at 11:34 AM on February 21

When I was a kid, I remember seeing a cartoon which I didn't know at the time was from Japan, in which the plot involved some kind of 3D television. One of the characters got pulled into it, and then kept half reappearing as a distorted version of himself in other places. It was really creepy and I've never forgotten it, but I'm not sure what the cartoon series was called – but something that was shown, dubbed, in Canada in the 1960s, or possibly in the U.S. since we sometimes picked up stations from Vermont or northern New York State.

So it's an idea that's been around.
posted by zadcat at 12:53 PM on February 21

This is my favorite Kurosawa. It's not as good as e.g. Cure, but the topic resonates with me.

The American remake was indeed pretty bad.

Around these parts, because we saw this about the same time as The Grudge, we called this The Smudge (affectionate).
posted by fleacircus at 3:07 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

If Tarkovsky made a techno-horror...
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:17 PM on February 21

Nice writeup about this film, and Kurosawa generally, here.
posted by remembrancer at 9:47 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]

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