One Missed Call
Where do I begin with this one? Well, for starters it’s a bad remake, so not only is it a bad movie but it was a huge disappointment. One Missed Call is based on the Japanese film of the same name, which spawned two sequels and was a huge success. Much like other Japanese films like Ringu and Ju-On, it was apparently time to give Once Missed Call the good old American treatment. And boy did director Eric Vallette have etiquette about it (never heard of this director before? Don’t worry, you won’t have to).
What’s the basic premise? You get a phone call from the future and it shows you what time you will die by some unknown force, and all of the deaths aren’t linked in any way. Some look like accidents (being crushed by falling steel), and others are obviously supernatural (being choked by an invisible force). That’s good. Don’t you hate consistency anyways? The problem is you have to make horror films believable. If the deaths are all similar, you will fear when someone will die again. Sure, you have the whole phone thing involved all of the time, but the outcomes themselves are thrown together and just stupid. They went through the hard work to make a guy crushed to death, couldn’t they invent a few new deaths of the like instead of just being “choked”? Here: Woman trips and her head cracks open on the chair. Took me three seconds (I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing).
So, how are we introduced to this “scary” force? At the very beginning of the film, we see a woman by the pool. Obviously her phone goes off and she answers it. Suddenly she gets sucked in. Then her cat gets sucked in. I promise you her cat gets bloody killed. This is something so stupid that not even Scary Movie would have done this (and trust me, that series has some really stupid shit). The cat, for no reason whatsoever, gets killed. This never happens again. No beings, let alone pets or humans, get killed along side the victim. What the hell did that cat ever do? Were his whiskers too long?
We find out this woman was the friend of our main character Beth, played by Shannyn Sossamon (finally, a reason not to gouge my own eyes out with this movie, and I’m not even five minutes in). She’s concerned because… Well, why wouldn’t she be? She tries to tell the cops about these events, and she’s obviously told that she’s insane (I think people who signed onto this film are more insane, really), except for one: Detective Jack (played by Edward Burns). His sister died from similar events so he believes her. The problem is that Beth’s phone rang and the call was from five to eight later that day, so she’s supposed to be the next victim. They trace the call and find it came from mother named Marie, whose one kid died and the other is in an orphanage. They assume that it must be Marie’s fault, or the cause is related to Marie. Apart from the fact that the call came from there, there isn’t really much proof. The victim’s phone rings, they die, and a red, round sweet comes out of their mouth. Book ’em, Danno.
So they find their way to a burned down hospital, and lo and behold, Marie’s corpse is there with a cell phone. They discover that her daughter died of an asthma attack. Neat. So it’s past 7:55 and Beth is still alive. What gives? I mean, not that I’d want her to die or anything.
Apparently, Marie’s spirit was… protecting Beth… That’s just… beyond stupid. That’s implying that every spirit can control who they want and how they die, so why would it matter if it was through the phone curse or not? Let’s say these are powers only those that die via phone curse possess, for the sake of argument and absolute uselessness. Wouldn’t Beth’s friends have helped her rather than some woman she doesn’t know? Why would Marie help Beth? In fact, why didn’t Marie help the other victims? Why can the force kill anything and Marie is still limited? We find out the force is from another dead being, so why the hell didn’t Marie help the others out? What a bitch. So yeah, why Beth? So she can find the source of the curse? What good will it do? It’s not like she can stop it. She’ll stand there and go “Oh, okay I found it” and that’s that. I bet you anything that’s what will happen. Marie, I don’t care how hot Beth is, we would have benefitted from a far shorter movie if you just let her time come.
So they find out the real source of the curse is from her dead daughter. Surprised? I was more surprised to know that finger nails and hair are made of the same substance at that point (really, look it up). Then we discover that her sister, the one now in the orphanage, liked… to eat… red sweets… Okay that’s complete bullshit. This sister has absolutely no power over the curses at all, why the hell would red sweets drop out of their mouths? Did the cursed sister want to pay tribute or something? She had the time to do that? I wouldn’t think you’d have time to plant candy in people’s mouths when you’ve busy trying to run around and kill everybody who is linked to someone else’s cell phone. That’s another thing. Wouldn’t most of the city be dead by now? Whatever, let’s get this over with.
Suddenly, Beth’s phone goes off again. Oh boy, time for her not to die again, right? Now we’re really down to the wire somehow since… she was saved before, so why would it matter now? It’s not like spirits have a limited amount of people to save a-oh forget it. Beth’s alone and is unaware of this as Jack has her phone (oh, good going, dumbasses). He rushes to save her and for… no reason… the spirit of the daughter kills Jack. Unlike the stupid cat moment before, the daughter killed Jack instead of Beth, not both of them. Well, she tries to kill Beth by half heartedly strangling her. Seriously, Jack gets a god damn knife in his eye and is killed in seconds and Beth is merely strangled? Does this spirit run out of ammo or something? Anyways, as predicted, Marie stops the daughter and Beth is saved and she walks off. Suddenly, Jack’s phone begins to dial a number from his phonebook, meaning there will be a new victim. Beth reacts to this by… doing nothing. The film’s over.
What a load of horse shit. That’s not a good twist ending, or even a good open ended one. It’s not like she thought she saved the day or anything and the phone goes off. She knew it wasn’t over. What kind of a stupid ending is that? Nothing is resolved, we lost a main character for absolutely no reason (hey, it was either him or her, so we’d have lost one for no reason either way), and we are never told how this curse even works. The daughter died with a phone and that’s supposed to make this work? Since when does dying give you super powers in the after life to kill people and alter reality? I’m sorry, movie, that is way too farfetched even for a David Lynch fan like myself. If the Japanese film(s) is the same sort of story, I won’t watch them because they will be stupid as well. However, I can guarantee they probably executed this much better.
The story doesn’t make sense, as little as there is, so much of it was pulled out of the asses of the filmmakers, and nothing is ever explained. Anything that is “explained” isn’t, really. It’s more or less just a cover up. Telling me that the curse came from a girl doesn’t explain how the curse itself started. I don’t care if she died (out of context, I now sound like an evil man), it doesn’t explain how the curse starts. Oh yeah, the scary moments aren’t scary. Save from the ridiculous cat moment, every other death scene is slow, boring, and a huge punch to the testicles every time a red candy is shown. The acting isn’t good or convincing, there isn’t any form of risk (you need, need, NEED risk in a horror movie for it to even be remotely watchable), the majority of the film is boring or flat out ludicrous, and absolutely nothing about the film is enjoyable. Well, apart from Shannyn Sossamon being cute. Apart from that, a complete waste of time, and by far one of the most annoying movies I’ve ever seen.