"Pulse" is a 2006 remake of a 2001 Japanese horror film called "Kairo." The film, directed by Jim Sonzero and written by Wes Craven and Ray Wright, stars Kristen Bell, Ian Somerhalder, Christina Milian and Brad Dourif. This movie is an example of the American tradition of remaking Japanese horror films, often resulting in cult movies that receive poor critical reviews but achieve extreme popularity among certain niche audiences.
The character Josh enters a deserted and dusky college library to meet his friend Douglas Zeigler. Suddenly, a ghost attacks him, robbing him of his soul and will to live. Days later, Josh's girlfriend Mattie visits his apartment at the behest of a zombie-like Josh, and finds the place in shambles. Mattie stands in the kitchen while Josh trudges through the rest of the apartment. Following a noise, she releases Josh's cat from a closet, where it has been slowly dying of starvation. She runs to find Josh, only to discover that he has hung himself with an Ethernet cable.
Mattie, distraught, leaves the apartment; a few days later, she receives messages through the computer from Josh asking for help. She assumes that his computer has a virus and learns that the machine has been sold to a man named Dexter McCarthy. Dexter finds bizarre videos on Josh's computer; he contacts Mattie to show her the videos, all of which are messages Josh is attempting to send to Ziegler, the character Josh was originally planning to meet in the library. The messages explain that Josh had created a computer virus that linked the world of the living with the world of the dead; he wanted to meet with Ziegler to show him a computer program he created to disarm the virus.
The program that disarms the virus is secured inside Josh's computer case with red tape. Mattie remembers that she has received a package from Josh, mailed to her two days before his death, containing roll after roll of red tape and a note explaining that red tape keeps "them" out. Mattie realizes that "them" refers to the dead, whom Josh has released. Dexter and Mattie search for Ziegler; they discover that his room is covered in red tape. Ziegler explains to them that the ghosts who enter the world of the living steal the souls of living people as well as their desire to live. Dexter and Mattie leave the frazzled Ziegler to search for the primary computer server that is spreading the virus.
Mattie and Dexter find the main server and upload Josh's program. The computer crashes; the virus disappears, and with it, the ghosts that have entered the world of the living. Mattie and Dexter are jubilant. Suddenly the computer restarts, the ghosts return and Mattie and Dexter escape the city by car. On the radio, the Army announces safe locations in which a lack of technology prevents ghosts from accessing the land of the living. The movie concludes with the indication that living people are forever banished from cities and from using technology, as the dead take over and possess the bodies of those left behind.
- "Pulse"; Jim Sonzero; 2006
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