Monday, January 2, 2017

Film Review: One Missed Call (2008)

One Missed Call (Review)
United States/2008
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a soulless horror movie without any horror."

People start receiving voicemails from their future selves, revealing details about their imminent deaths.

One Missed Call has an interesting concept, but the execution is severely flawed. The plot follows a generic set of characters. Primarily, it follows student Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) and Detective Jack Andrews (Edward Burns). Beth notices her friends are dying after receiving mysterious voicemails detailing the moments before their deaths. Meanwhile, Jack is investigating said deaths because his sister died in a similar fashion. When Beth receives a call, the pair race to find the reason behind the madness. That's really all the plot offers. As you can see, it's a pretty straight-forward and predictable horror film. It leads to a very underwhelming ending. The ending felt rushed, too.

One Missed Call isn't a terrible horror movie. Despite its original concept, which is taken from a remake of a novel adaptation, the film is lacking in personality. Nothing in this movie stands out. It's bland, boring, and forgettable. It's just another PG-13 remake from the 2000s. That's the brutal truth. Its status as a remake wouldn't have mattered if it was at least scary, but it's not. The film is devoid of atmosphere, suspense, and even jump-scares. There are some creepy visuals here, but most of its visuals are silly due to the reliance on computer effects – it all looks unnatural. None of its plot resonates either due to the lack of character. People die, but you just don't care. Truth be told, I finished watching this movie less than thirty minutes ago and I'm already forgetting most of it.

The acting doesn't fare any better. It's all stiff and bland. Shannyn Sossamon is lifeless in this film. She delivers each line with such a surprising lack of emotion. Edward Burns isn't as boring, but he's also stiff and unnatural. The entire supporting cast suffers from the same issues. There a scene where they first receive the call in a bedroom that should have been creepy, but it comes off as dull due to the performances. ("That's not my ringtone." "Oh, really. Crazy..." Read that in a monotone voice and you'll see what I'm saying.) The cinematography was okay. Like the rest of the film, the music is lacking in personality. The film was directed by Eric Valette and written by Andrew Klavan. The writing is forgettable, refusing to take any chances whatsoever. Valette's direction is also uninspired. He knows how to make a movie with a beginning, middle, and end, but horror is definitely not his thing.

Overall, One Missed Call is a bad movie. It's a soulless horror movie without any horror. The concept is interesting, there are some creepy visuals, but the rest of the film is a bore to get through. This is coming from someone who often enjoys remakes. Hell, I'm not even the biggest fan of Takashi Miike's version and I love his films! Avoid this.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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