I've been pretty discriminatory with the movies I have chosen to see thus far in 2008, but now the garbage is already arriving on DVD. One Missed Call, a forgettable horror movie starring Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns, is one such piece of trash.
In reality, One Missed Call isn't the complete disaster I was expecting it to be, but, then again, I wasn't expecting much at all and got just a little more than that. Yet another remake of a Japanese horror movie (Chakushin Ari), this movie smells of rip-off. A sub-genre that was once cool and innovative, it now appears as though all Japanese horror films, and their remakes, are the same: an evil spirit gets trapped in a piece of electronics and goes around killing random people for no apparent reason. Such is the case in One Missed Call, where a group of friends receive phone calls of their own death sometime in the near future. Upon hearing the call, they also begin to see disturbing hallucinations of dead people.
If you've seen The Ring, The Grudge or any of the other countless films like this, you know exactly what'll happen from beginning to end. Director Eric Valette tries to spruce things up with the ghosts, but just makes everything seem cheesier and more desperate. Adding CGI to depict random dead people that do nothing to progress the story is not going to make a bad movie any better. With a plot about killer cell phone calls, One Missed Call is DOA anyway; no matter how good any of the ingredients, if the recipe sucks, the end result will suck.
Sossamon and Burns do decent enough, but both are capable of much, much more. I've always liked Sossamon, even though she tends to show up in undesirable films. Burns, for the most part, cares about making some money so he can fund one of his many low-budget directorial features. Regardless, the two share decent chemistry on screen and make the movie as enjoyable as it can be.
Ultimately, though, One Missed Call is an uninteresting, lackluster effort. A lack of scares and a bland story make you want to receive one of those fatal phone calls yourself just to be saved from the suffering.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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