One Missed Call
Having directed more than 70 films in the last 20 years, Japanese wildman Takashi Miike’s output can be hit or miss, to say the least. His original One Missed Call (2003) is considered disposable Miike even by his cult following, a very subtle tongue-in-cheek riff on the conventions of the J-horror phenomenon that in itself never really does anything other than disappear quietly among the tired clichés of the genre. This Americanized remake of course takes the PG-13 route, resulting in a tepid echo of the tepid original and waters the scares down even more for the multiplex teen demographic that the film is aimed at. A handful of fresh faces are menaced by their cell phones, who, when they answer after being alerted with an alien ringtone, hear the voicemail recording of their own imminent demise. It’s a pocket version of The Ring, of course, that never comes close to even matching that one’s American remake. Inherently (but unintentionally) silly and almost completely lacking in scares or suspense.