Western horror filmmakers have had a rough go at adapting their far-eastern counterpart’s films for “American” consumption. With the exception of The Ring (and, to a lesser extent, The Grudge), it’s always seemed that something’s been lost in translation when it comes to English remakes of Asian horror hits, and, while I wish I could say Eric Valette’s remake of Takashi Miike’s “One Missed Call” bucks this trend, it’s unfortunately one of the least effective adaptations yet.
A group of seemingly disparate young people are receiving disturbing phone messages from themselves from a few days in their future. In these messages – received on their cell phones and accompanied by a spooky signature ringtone - the victims hear what sounds like their last moments before their own deaths, and, sure enough, when said time of call rolls around, they are snuffed out by a vengeful spirit who makes their deaths look accidental (save for the fact that all of the victims spit out a red gob of hard candy upon their demise). Shannyn Sossamon stars as Beth, a young student who’s recently lost two of her friends to this phenomenon. Beth discovers that the one common thread turns out to be the fact that future victim’s phone numbers are stored in the deceased’s phones, and, when one of her friends seemingly “falls” in front of a train, Beth receives her call from her future self. With only a matter of days to save herself, Beth enlists the aid of Jack Andrews (Ed Burns) - a cop whose sister was the first victim of this otherworldly killing spree – and the two race against time to find a way to assuage the wrath of this tech savvy ghost.
One Missed Call is a bit of a train wreck, but, to be fair, the film it’s based on – Miike’s Chakushin Ari – wasn’t a particularly good film to begin with. Miike’s original was a far cry from his gonzo gore-drenched “new wave” style, and, on the surface, seemed to be the director’s attempt at crafting a slick, commercial, and, ironically, Americanized - “hit”. The result was a mishmash of Asian horror contrivances, borrowing from everything from Ringu to Ju-on to Scream. Still, with Miike’s film, it seemed as though the director was poking a bit of fun at the genre. Valette’s adaptation, however, is no laughing matter – at least not intentionally. Sadly, the film isn’t particularly scary, either, relying far too much on the gimmick of the victim’s CGI “hallucinations”. What we’re left with is a less than competent remake of an already less than competent original film that’s virtually devoid of effective scares or any sense of compelling drama. Yeah, it’s pretty much a stinker.
Warner presents One Missed Call in a fairly solid 1.85:1 VC-1 HD transfer that suffers from the occasional bouts of softness, but is otherwise quite vivid and three dimensional. I did notice some artifacting during an exceptionally dark sequence toward the film’s conclusion, but it was only a brief instance.
The Dolby True HD soundtrack is crisp and robust but, in terms of spatial imaging, rather flat, with very little going on in the mix to truly envelop the listener.
There are absolutely no supplements on this Blu-ray, which arrives in stores day-and-date with an equally barebones DVD release. There's not much love goin' round for One Missed Call, it seems.
Everything about this release of One Missed Call on Blu-ray reeks of the studio’s disappointment with this film, from the lackluster HD transfer to the total lack of any extras whatsoever. If you’re a hardcore horror fanatic who has completely exhausted all other offerings in the Blu format, then maybe – just maybe – you’ll want to give this one a rental, but, otherwise, this is one particular call you’re better off missing.