Sometimes you see a movie that is so underwhelming that you just have to wonder why people took the time and trouble to create it. For any filmmakers out in the audience, let me remind you that intermittent “jump” shots does not a horror movie make. The most frightening thing about “Pulse 3” is the 3. Granted, I have only a vague memory of “Pulse” numero uno (that should have been a hint right there) and managed to miss “Pulse 2” altogether. Part three is not going to encourage me to catch up on what I missed and if there is a fourth edition it will require a damn good trailer to hook me into watching.
Let me be clear: this is not the worst of the ripped-off and Americanized Asian horror films that I’ve ever seen. It isn’t even interesting enough to rate being really bad. It’s just kind of there, rolling along on a lame pseudo-plot; surrealistic shots, making it appear that the actors are continuously in front of a green/blue/CGI screen (even when they are, a minimal effort should be made so that you don’t notice it so blatantly); and frequent demands for suspension of plausibility and continuity.
The film begins with a slight recap of events from “Pulse 2” before going seven years down the road to see what life is like for the refugees from the ghost-filled cities. People are living in crowded shanty towns, generally avoiding technology while scraping by, and children are being taught in school that such things as cell phones and computers are tools of Satan. I’ll get back to these in just a bit. Onward with the basic plot summary (some spoilers lie ahead, beware)!
Teenage nonconformist Justine (Brittany Finamore) finds an abandoned laptop and quickly gets it charged up and running. Moments later, she’s networking with Adam. They immediately begin a sort of cyber-romance and he easily convinces her to run away to join him in Houston (aka, one of the forbidden zones). She doesn’t even bother to find wheels or change clothes…just packs the laptop into a backpack and takes off on foot. After a disturbing night in an old farmhouse, she reaches the city. The ghost of her mother is waiting for her, apparently merely to provide her with a working cell phone, since the battery in the laptop had been depleted.
Justine next tracks down the apartment of Thomas Zeigler (obviously related to Douglas Zeigler from the original “Pulse”, but I am not sure how), who just happens to be the man who carjacked her and her father during their escape seven years earlier and who also remembers her. Zeigler has a plan to get rid of the ghosts. Why he waited all those years to implement it, who knows? The ghosts let Justine know, via the phone, that Adam wants Zeigler’s plan aborted and that is why she is needed. What a shock…she’s going to help them. After all, it’s for Adam.
So many issues, where, oh where, to begin? I feel a rant coming on. When movies of this sort are made, why do refugees almost always choose to make garbage dumps their new home? They are eschewing technology, but still have generators for electric lights, etc. The schoolteacher preaches, but religion doesn’t seem to be observed outside of the class. How does Justine get online so easily? Damn….her Internet works better than mine! Also, why would she want to, knowing that that was how so many people died? Why isn’t she surprised about connecting with Adam and why in the hell would she run off to find him (well, ok that one I might get…teenagers do stupid stuff like that).
Obviously, I’m not going to recommend this movie to anyone unless they are a true die-hard fan of the others in the set. I am not usually given to the use of the term “meh”, but in this case I can think of no better adjective. If you have nothing better to do than watch this, man, I truly feel for you and I’d suggest getting a hobby…or finding someone online to chat with.