Saturday, January 5, 2013

NEW SERIES: This Month In... 2008: "One Missed Call"

    This being the new year and all, I think it's time to get a new series on the site (And yes, Awfully Direct will still come back in February). This new series, called This Month In..., has a pretty simple premise. Every month I'll choose a month between 2004 and 2010 (The movie release calenders for these months are the easiest to find and most plentiful) and each Friday (NOTE: This review was supposed to come out yesterday, but technical problems made me release it a day late) I'll review one movie that was released the same Friday in that month. For example, this month I chose to use January 2008 as our jumping off point. This week is the first week of 2013 and I'll be review One Missed Call, which was released the first week in 2008. Next week, I'll review a movie from the second week of 2008 and so on and so forth untill the end of the month. Now, on with the review!

    The Story
    One Missed Call is a remake of a 2003 Japanese horror film titled Chakushin Ari. Directed by Eric Valette, in his biggest US release, and written by Andrew Klavan, in his biggest US release, the film follows Shannyn Sossamon (The TV series Moonlight) as Beth, whose friends and family start getting mysterious phone calls from their other dead friends with their own last words and the date and time of their deaths in them. Then, she meets Detective Andrews (Edward Burns, Echelon Conspiracy), who decides to help her get to the bottom of these mysterious phone calls.
The Cast
    The cast is fine. For what it is. See, that's the type of movie One Missed Call is. It's decent movie for what it is. One Missed Call is a PG-13 horror remake of a Japanese film made for teenagers that was released early in the year. It's a specific but large genre. And One Missed Call is probably one of the better one's of those movies. Most of the cast is dead within the first twenty minutes. Who we're left with is fine. Sossamon is pretty and she can act, so that good. Her best friend Taylor (Ana Claudia Talancon) is pretty, which is good because she can't act all that well. Burns isn't as pretty as the girls, and he can't act as well as Sossamon. And since they spend most of the movie together, this reflects poorly on Burns. The film also manages to work Ray Wise (Reaper), so it get bonus points just for that.
You got a little something on your face...
The Plot
    The biggest problem with One Missed Call is that it's plot is completely filled with plot holes and stupid. Or, is that the best thing about it? See, One Missed Call is one of the more fun "So-Bad-It's-Good" movies I've seen in a while. Get a few friends together and go all Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the film and you'll have a good time. Some great moments in the film include the incredibly inept police department that never bothers to check the dead people's phone records and a laughable bad knockout of Burns towards the end. You completely get the feeling that no one making this film cared if they made a good film, mostly because that's probably exactly the case. There's a reason Valette and Klavan aren't household names and that reason is One Missed Call. And of course the other problematic thing with how unintentionally funny the movie is is that it's about as scary as a cheese grater. The film mostly consists of jump scares, all of which you can see coming from a mile away.
The Pacing
     Oddly enough though, the film does contain the problem of a ridiculously bad pace. As I said earlier, there are 6 main character in this hour and twenty minute film and within the first twenty minutes half of them are already dead. Made for teenagers, it's clear that the filmmakers though that they should cater to teenagers short attention spans by making the movie go by as fast as possible to keep the teenagers interested. Because as we all know teenagers are terrible. Because of the overly slick pace, you never get to know any of the characters beyond basic characteristics and the story never actually manages to make sense. But again, that's to be expected with what this film is.
Burns usually look just as confused as
the audience is.
The Verdict
    For what it is, One Missed Call isn't that bad. I have seen much worse  PG-13 American remakes of Japanese horror films made for teenagers and released early on in the year. At least One Missed Call is one of the most unintentionally funny. I laughed in more than a few inappropriate spots, which is kinda a blessing when you think of how bad this movie could have been. The cast is mostly fine, the plot is full of holes, the horror is almost laughable and the pace is way too quick. But, hey, it's mercifully short and fun to make fun of, so it's not all bad. Except when it is. One Missed Call gets 2 and a half stars out of 6. Next time, get your controllers out, because we're playing a game. 

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