Besides the clear difference that the Japanese Pulse is a much better movie than the American one, there are other differences that are found when one delves into different aspects of both films. The Japanese version, first of all, has a much slower pace, and uses this as a means of spreading horror rather than the American version which uses jumps and ghosts jumping out of the shadows to scare the audience. The Japanese version dwells on this idea that technology is dragging everyone towards depression, so the horror of the film is a depressing horror; people are not getting killed by a monster, but rather are losing their will to live. Then the cinematography and music play on this theme. The shots are drawn out and long, and the music is very subtle. This creates a somber, and almost depressing tone. Kiyoshi Kurosawa creates this duality between theme and cinematography which comes together quite nicely.

The American version does no such thing. There is no harmony between any different aspects of the film with the theme of technological takeover, and this makes the audience confused and annoyed with the films mediocrity. In fact, the film does such a poor job of getting its point across, that the writers had to insert this one character at the end of the film “Zeigler” to basically ruin the entire mystery of the film. On top of that, the film just relies on gruesome and unnecessary death scenes, and does not tie all of its points in to make a statement like the Japanese version does.

On top of that, Kurosawa’s Pulse does not have any gruesome death scenes; its death scenes are sad and bizarre, not agreeing at all with the typical norms of horror. The Japanese Pulse relies on so much more than scaring the audience to be a good film, while the American version only has a few scary scenes to offer its viewers. 


One thought on “Pulse

  1. I agree. I think the Japanese version defines horror in a new way – horror movies do not have to be about artificial terror (fast clips that make you jump or overly-heavy suspense) but instead can be about a much deeper, gnawing idea that you think about long after the movie is over, such as the idea that we are all alone in this world and instead of experiencing the human interaction we desperately crave, we bury our feelings via the internet.

    I think the Japanese Pulse is very relevant and effective to today’s generation and will continue to be relevant for many generations to come. The same cannot be said for the American Pulse. The Japanese Pulse creates a statement larger than itself. The entire movie is a critique on our dwindling social interaction and over-the-top internet and cell phone usage. The message of the film is very relatable thus powerful.

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