Bomb Rating: 

"Pulse" is the kind of movie that would make somebody really proud were it presented as a class project at the end of the college semester in Film 101.I'm sure the professor would be impressed with what the students were able to get out of the minuscule budget, though he'd probably have to go on at length about the importance of not beating the viewer over the head with simplistic ideas.

Unfortunately, "Pulse" is a full-fledged Hollywood release and it caters to the sort of viewer who's seeing PG-13 rated horror films these days: namely, 12-year-olds. Consequently, the ideas are about as developed as the ideas in a sixth-grade class play. Thus, I'm sure nobody will miss the basic message of the film: technology bad.

This theme emerges like a tsunami in a kiddie pool as director Jim Sonzero visits high school with protagonist Mattie Webber (Kristen Bell) and every other shot features either a kid on a cell phone or a kid using a laptop. Not surprisingly, these become the vital tools in bringing EVIL into the world.

Basically, as the people try harder to communicate with one another, the more they open themselves up to being sucked into the abyss. First, Josh (Jonathan Tucker) gets sucked in and this causes his friends to try and figure out where he is. Either they try to call him or IM him and with each effort, they are brought closer to whatever evil is out there. Mattie eventually meets Dexter (Ian Somerhalder) and they work together to figure out what's going on. Eventually, they discover they're only safe in a place with no cell phone reception.

While I would like to go to such a place, it did nothing to improve my acceptance of "Pulse" as anything more than a juvenile, amateurish exercise.

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