Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    If one masterpiece were to emerge from the recent glut of generally good quality Japanese horror movie, this chilling apocalyptic ghost story from Kyroshi Kurosawa is it.
  2. The most horrifying thing in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's fiercely original, thrillingly creepy Pulse (released as "Kairo," or "Circuit," in Japan) is the way the ghosts move.
  3. 80
    Whether you take it as horror show or social commentary (or both), this is sublimely terrifying stuff.
  4. Neither linear nor overly explained, Pulse completely dispenses with smash cuts, cymbal crashes and other editing tricks of the horror trade.
  5. The film's ideas are provocative, yet vague and unfully formed. It's much like Pulse itself, which is a bit too long, despite several great sequences.
  6. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    While not exactly reaching Ring-levels of terror, it's certainly one for connoisseurs of the weird.
  7. 30
    But the big scare scenes seem particularly isolated here, supported by neither the flat characters nor the vague plot.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 5 out of 14
  1. KelR.
    Jun 23, 2006
    9
    This movie seemed like it was made in the 80's or something because of poor clarity. Besides that, and the fact you have to read This movie seemed like it was made in the 80's or something because of poor clarity. Besides that, and the fact you have to read subtitles, it's astoundingly great. The story of this movie is top notch, and ths special effects will blow you away. Simply put if you LOVE asian horror than you MUST see this movie! Expand
  2. Arsal
    Sep 20, 2007
    9
    Kairo is an utter masterpiece. Nothing less, nothing more. It's not so much as the usual 'jump-because-we-said-so' horror Kairo is an utter masterpiece. Nothing less, nothing more. It's not so much as the usual 'jump-because-we-said-so' horror movies being churned out as of late. It's atmospheric, dark, surreal, almost dream-like in some scenes. Recommended to everyone who's sick of blood and guts being spurted at the screen for no reason, and to fans of art-house cinema. Expand
  3. BobN
    May 25, 2009
    9
    Kiyoshi Kurosawa's films appeal to me. I am a thinker (I am not saying I am smarter than everyone.) I have thought a lot about the Kiyoshi Kurosawa's films appeal to me. I am a thinker (I am not saying I am smarter than everyone.) I have thought a lot about the dangerous era we have entered in the past 20 years or so with technology. As Postman and McLuhan pointed out, the recent generations of folks born in advanced countries are the first in history to suffer from information glut. We are boldly going...finish the sentence. There has to be a cost to this technology. This film plays on that realistic fear, the fear of the unkown, the fear of alienation, the fear of technology. This is not a 2001 the computers will kill you fear, this is a deep-seated psychological/spiritual dillema. The film does drag at times, and the characters act annoyingly odd at times as well. The ever present atmoshpere, the ever present ideas, create one of the creepiest and best "horror" films I have seen. Note: I usually hate horror films. They tend to be "shock" films with no dread or horror. Pulse (the Japanese version, not the horrid American version) is a true horror film. There is no comparison with the original and the remake. The remake is horrible and empty of the spirit of the original. Great stuff. Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Aug 19, 2006
    6
    [***SPOILERS***] "Kairo" isn't entirely successful but it's still vastly superior to the remake I saw yesterday. Thankfully, [***SPOILERS***] "Kairo" isn't entirely successful but it's still vastly superior to the remake I saw yesterday. Thankfully, there's nothing pale and naked coming out of a coin-operated laundry machine. In "Pulse", you see the influence of the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", but in the Japanese original, the source of inspiration is more explicit. It's the 1978 version with Donald Sutherland. What's also interesting is how the ghosts are presented. They're reminiscent of the monoliths from "2001: A Space Odyessy". What ultimately prevents "Kairo", however, from joining the ranks of first-rate J-horror flicks, is a short supply of interesting characters saying interesting things. The two girls who traveled across the Pacific and morphed into Kristin Bell and Kristina Milian are equally wretched, but at least with two storylines, they're not constantly on screen. Expand
  5. Apr 13, 2011
    5
    Unnerving, but slightly irksome and glacially-paced Japanese horror film that didn't quite deliver on its promise. It's a precursor to theUnnerving, but slightly irksome and glacially-paced Japanese horror film that didn't quite deliver on its promise. It's a precursor to the glut of similar films that followed it, and might be appreciated more if you have never seen Dark Water, The Grudge, or the Ring, shallow though that sounds; although you can appreciate the artistry you're left bemused. Expand
  6. keithw.
    Nov 20, 2005
    3
    Twilight Zone far superior edit edit edit!
  7. EdwardV.
    Feb 28, 2006
    0
    This movie is a damn boring and useless piece of crap. I just spent money on two rentals including this one and Memory Killer, another waste This movie is a damn boring and useless piece of crap. I just spent money on two rentals including this one and Memory Killer, another waste of time,because of the positive reviews by the critics on this site, so I am very angry.It seems that some reviewers on here have an unnatural prejudice FOR these cheap, vague, and dark foreign movies. I am making a list of the positive reviewers, including Ken Fox,Sean Axmaker, AnitaGates and Michael Wilmington, and I won't trust their reviews ever again. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

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