This Ghost Has A Pulse


If you like ghosts – and I think I can speak for the rest of us when I say hell yes – then Pulse (aka, Kairo/2001) delivers a nifty polter-wedgy. Mind you, this is the Japanese version, not the crappy American remake with that flat Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) chick, whose fast becoming the Lorenzo Lamas of horror.


Taguchi hasn’t been to work in days, preferring to stay at home and working on a computer something or rather. When a friend/colleague/buttinski comes over to his apartment, she finds Taguchi to be distant and aloof, as if high on illegal drugs or internet porn. But when the chick, sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, turns her head for just a second, Taguchi hangs himself.


Later, while looking for insight as to why he would want to stretch his neck, his friends see Taguchi’s ghost face on his computer monitor. Then they get a phone call from their dead friend (probably collect). Going back over to Taguchi’s apartment, they see a black stain on the wall where he hung himself like an oil painting.


Looking for more clues on the computer, the friends see chat rooms full of dead people asking, “Do you want to meet a ghost?” (If that happens to you, say no, because most internet ghosts want to sell you Viagra™, three-percent home loans or penis enlargement pills.)


Ryosuke and Michi (hey, their moms gave ’em those names, not me) end up wandering around the city as if ghosts themselves. Why? The entire population is mysteriously vanishing and the town is in flames. If you’ve been paying attention to all the PDA, cell phone and computer use throughout the movie you’ll see it’s a metaphor for people getting so caught up in technology, they’re all becoming “e-ghosts.”


My take is that using the internet or your cell phone will make you jump off buildings and leave stains on the wall. I don’t want to be an e-ghost. I would rather be an iWerewolf. That’d be way cooler, I think.

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