DVD Review: Pulse 3
Pulse 3 (2008)
Studio: Dimension Extreme
DVD Release Date: December 23, 2008
Directed By: Joel Soisson
Cast: Noureen DeWulf, Rider Strong, Georgina Rylance, William Prael, Brittany Finamore
Brutal As Hell Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Review By: Marc Patterson
Pulse 3 picks up roughly a decade after the second installment ended. Survivors of the worldwide epidemic now live in shanty towns as refugees with no technology. Make-shift schools teach the evil of cell phones and computers as it is these devices that act as portals for the dead and spread the mind altering disease that drives humans to suicide. The focus of this latest film is an impressionable seventeen year old girl Justine (Brittany Finamore) who discovers a laptop computer in decaying automobile. Unable to resist the temptation of technology she opens it to discover that (oh my god!) it still works. Not only does it work, but it dials into the internet perfectly. Who would have thought? She quickly is able to hop into some sort of instant messaging program with a guy named Adam (Rider Strong) who urges her to leave her refugee camp and come to Houston, one of the abandoned cities. Justine sets out on foot to find out who Adam is, and along the way encounters strange folk who eat humans, lonely cotton farmers, and the utterly horrifying truth about chatting online with older men.
Sorry for the sarcasm, but this was one absolutely wretched film. The film runs as slow as an outdated PC on dial-up. It takes forever before anything worthwhile happens and when that moment comes, it’s laughable at best. Even the formulated jump scares fall flat and didn’t elicit the most minor increase in heart rate. Yawn.
It if wasn’t bad enough that the incredibly boring narrative drives us to tears it’s nearly topped in ineptitude by ridiculous direction. Soisson is back in the director’s seat for this third installment to a series of films that should never have been made. I might be generous to validate initial remake, but to follow with a sequel that blew chunks, nonetheless another, is unacceptable. More shocking is that Dimension, who has been reasonably strong in their recent horror releases, greenlighted this project at all. Clearly it turned enough of a profit to make it worth it. Only not worth it for us. “Us” being true horror fans, not the Saturday night horror-lites that grab whatever DVD cover looks great this month.
First is the use of some miserable CGI. Half this film was clearly shot in front of a green screen (blue, whatever) and it shows in a bad way. It doesn’t come off as artsy. It comes off as unskilled in execution. Soisson additionally makes creative use of camera phones to set up some shots, but it just doesn’t work. We’re being unreasonably asked to believe in the preposterous assumption that a computer or a cell phone would even operate six years after the last human touched it. The film is full of these outlandish moments that make a mockery of the filmmaking process.
The final nail in the coffin is unfortunate. A bad screenplay and piss poor direction is one thing if you have good actors. However with Pulse 3 none of the actors could hold their own worth a damn. And Jesus… Rider Strong? Really? That should be first indication of how horrible this film is. This guy hasn’t been in anything good, at least not where he’s acting as anything close to a lead. My suggestion is that if you see Rider Strong’s name in any new film to just pass. And I’ll take this opportunity to throw my first of many darts at the upcoming Cabin Fever sequel, as he’s being featured fairly predominately. Sure, I shouldn’t bash a film before it’s been made but we all know it’s going to suck ass for more reasons than just Rider Strong.
I can’t say it enough people, If there was any question as to whether you should watch this film or not, let’s make it clear… Just don’t. It’s pure rubbish and belongs in the dust bins of horror hell.