Pulse ★★★★½

Hooptober #22

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Cure is one of the most unnerving movies ever made and his other famous horror movie Pulse similarly leaves you disturbed and uncomfortable. The entire film is dark and foreboding, containing almost a constant build-up of fear and despair. The film begins as a time capsule of early internet culture, with the web as something still undefined. Much like how Videodrome played on how home media changes a person, Pulse presents the rise of the internet as something that allows evil to escape. In Pulse, people become changed. They lose the will to live. Behind all of this is something ambiguous and undefined, though there is talk of souls escaping their confinement. We see echoes and remnants of people, as ghosts. Pulse draws on fears of death and loneliness, becoming very eerie as it reflects pains that we can all relate to. The pace is slow and considered, executing horror in lengthy, unflinching shots. Suicide is prominent, unexpected, and not shied away from. Pulse is just so upsetting. It's not a gross-out horror movie, nor something that makes you jump, but its depiction of people exiting a lonely society is one of the most chilling feats of cinematic depression.

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