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One Missed Call (aka. Chakushin ari, 2003)

Japanese Horror Film Directed By Takashi Miike

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Ghosties, phantom phone-calls, and candy that pops outta your mouth when you die. Yay, writing!

  • Apr 4, 2011
** out of ****

Here is a film that was almost on the good side of decent, but staggered right from the start. This causes the admittedly ambitious premise to go to nigh complete waste, and this also causes Takashi Miike's "One Missed Call" to come a bit short when it comes to scares, entertainment, story, characters, or anything, for the matter.

Yet, this is not quite a bad film. It's about a mysterious phone-call that people keep getting. The voice is that of their own; but they are always in a dying or near-to-dying state. This strikes our "characters" as particularly odd, and as with nearly all J-horror flicks, the story turns into a mildly entertaining, seldom engaging visual-trip that alas doesn't offer enough of a plot or enough of a visual-trip. It's sad, really. But unwatchable-sad, no. Save that for the remake.

The film often tries hard at a good atmosphere, and it almost creates one. I liked how this film used minimal gore, and didn't try to scare us in the cheapest of ways. This is admirable, and the film is at its best when it's not trying to be the creepy, effective horror movie that it just wasn't meant to be. Yes, it's forgettable. So much that I can't even recommend it to horror fans; since this one might put a couple of them to sleep. It's a bore for the most part; never doing much to shock, disturb, or surprise us. At least SOME horror movies could keep me awake for more than 75% of the time, which is more time than most horror films have the potential to manage.

This film is not poorly made, poorly acted, or even poorly written. It just isn't as good as it wants to be. But at least they tried; that they did. But it's hard to forgive a film that looks good, but can't scare you. I didn't feel frightened after watching the film, and I found the plot to be unintentionally ludicrous. The idea is pretty good- another smart techno-horror/thriller idea from Japan- but there's not much else to admire about the film.

Word to filmmakers: dead people that spit out candy and admittedly cool but forgettable visuals DO NOT SCARE ME. A ghostly virus that kind of spreads through cell-phones, however, does scare me; but this film doesn't embrace the concept all that well. Takashi Miike directed "Ichi the Killer" and "Audition". Those films deserve recognition. If "One Missed Call" deserves any, then it's as a film that would be playing on someone's television within a film. At least it may find solace there.

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April 26, 2011
This was better than the remake for sure, great review. Like you said those other two are great.
April 04, 2011
Definitely not one of Miike's best movies but it was the highest-grossing one he had done in Asia. Something about cell phones..... Still this was a lot superior to the American remake.
April 04, 2011
Great review, I completely agree! I like your last couple of sentences LOL...
More One Missed Call (aka. Chakushi... reviews
review by . November 23, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
Takashi Miike's Japanese Horror Original That Says Cell Phones Can be Hazardous To One's Health!
                                   Cult horror favorite Takashi Miike takes on a more mainstream J-horror movie with “ONE MISSED CALL” (aka. Chakushin Ari, 2003) and yes, the film is a little different from Miike’s other films such as the brilliant “Audition” and the unnervingly almost satiric “Visitor Q”; “One Missed …
review by . February 18, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Every time I hear that America is redoing any film I automatically know that I have to see the original first. I'm not hating on my own country but hey, they don't always get it right. So when I saw the preview for One Last Call I seriously thought that maybe this could quite possibly be one of the dumbest movies ever made. If you think about it the movie is like the little girl from "The Ring" has become lord of the cell phones. You can't lie and say that it doesn't sound like that but hey sometimes …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie



Director: Takashi Miike
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Release Date: 2003.11.3 (Tokyo International Film Festival), 2003.12.5 (Sitges Film Festival), 2004.1.17
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Minako Daira
Runtime: 112 minutes
Studio: Kadokawa-Daiei Eiga K.K.
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