Pulse (Kairo) 2001 Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Pulse (Kairo) 2001 Review

Horrorific content by adrian on February 04th, 2021 | Movie Review | Haunted, Supernatural, Mind Bender, Psychological, Internet

It's about ghosts from the afterlife infiltrating the living to spread enough loneliness to wipe out humanity.

Pulse (Kairo) was directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (who also directed CreepyLoft and School Ghost Story G) and stars Haruhiko Katô (from A Slit-Mouthed Woman and Another Heaven), Kumiko Asou (from Kaidan, Casshern and Ringu 0) and Koyuki (from Blood: The Last Vampire and Alive).

Do you want to meet a ghost?

Pulse (Kairo) Review

Anyone who knows anything about Tokyo knows it's one of the most populated cities in the world. When Pulse came out back in 2001 the population was already a staggering 34.6 million. And anyone who knows anything about the Japanese knows they struggle greatly with loneliness, depression and suicide. So it was only a matter of time before a horror movie was made to touch on this. Pulse does it by focusing on a group of people living in Tokyo who are also just learning about the Internet. Pulse was ahead of its time in predicting how the Internet would drive us farther apart and how social media connections would often be superficial, creating an even greater sense of isolation.

In Pulse, ghosts from the afterlife reveal themselves through mysterious websites as well as through forbidden portals and pull anyone who sees them into a deep depression once they learn that there's no escape from loneliness, not even in death. This touches on another fear factor of the Japanese, no afterlife. Only a hopeless and eternal existence in purgatory. The movie is about the discovery and attempted survival from this army of depressed ghosts. 

Pulse may be a slow and somewhat depressing movie but it's also a horror movie to its core. The concept and style of the movie might make it seem more like a drama, but it's horror from start to finish. Pulse has some of the freakiest ghost scenes of any movie I've seen. It's also the kind of movie that doesn't spoon feed you anything. There's all kinds of crazy shit going on in the background that you can see but that the camera doesn't focus on. It's also haunting and thought-provoking in the way the story unfolds. There's so many levels to Pulse. You can watch it just for the supernatural horror or you can dive deeper into the endless subtleties that make this one of the J-horror greats along with Ju-On, Ringu and Audition.

Pulse has long been considered to be one of the scariest movies around, certainly among Japanese horror movies. After watching I can understand why. This movie is visually haunting and also touches on the mounting loneliness and urban isolation suffered in modern Japan. It also has a very deep story to support the feelings of fear and dread it conjures. The story is built upon numerous levels and will have you pondering everything long after watching.

Worth Watching?

I think so, although it's probably not for everybody. It's a slow and somewhat abstract ghost story with an air of hopelessness and a lot of slow motion sequences. So you definitely have to be in a chill mood to appreciate it.

Pulse (Kairo) Review (2001) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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