While I am not the greatest fan of Japanese auteur Takashi Miike’s work, I have seen enough of it to consider his horror film One Missed Call to be one of his lesser films. Coming out at the tail end of the J-horror boom of a few years back, its premise – mysterious messages appearing on people’s cell phones forecasting their imminent death – strains the “find something scary in the ordinary” convention of the genre. While Miike does manage to wring (pun unintended) some scares out of the material, it generally feels as if he’s slumming it here.
Of course, it was inevitable that One Missed Call would be picked up for an American remake during the recent spate of English language J-horror remakes. But as exemplified by the failures of the Americanized versions of Dark Water and Pulse, it looks as if the movie-going public has grown tired of the trend much in the same way Japanese audiences did.
So will this American version of One Missed Call be any good, and more importantly to the studio, will it bring in an audience. Normally I would say that the presence of Ed Burns in the cast would be an indicator that at least there was some potential for a decent story, but having such recent klunkers on his resume such as A Sound Of Thunder (2005) and The Holiday (2006) has me questioning his judgment on scripts lately.
I will admit that I do like the recently released poster for the film. A great, creepy image that, while not explicit gruesome, is freaky enough to make me surprised that it passed muster with the folks at the Motion Picture Association of America that approves such things.
The trailer, however, is fairly standard- it sets up the movie’s premise and tries to impart a few representative scares. However, there’s nothing too exciting in the clip that makes me want to rush right out to the theater opening day.
One Missed Call opens on January 4, 2008.