One Missed Call is an intelligent, smartly-wrought metaphor for the dangers of cell phones and the possible cancer inducing problems that can occur from over usage of them. Aww, who am I kidding? One Missed Call is a horrendous movie about a ghost that leaves voice mails instead of text messages because, One Missed Text just doesn’t sound marketable enough as a movie.
I’ll be completely honest with you. When I first saw The Ring and, sigh, I’ll admit it, The Grudge, I couldn’t sleep that night. There was just something about seeing…that face…that really sent shivers down my spine and made me imagine that if I pulled the covers from over my head, I’d see that horrific woman/little girl with hair draping over her face, breathing cold death right into my mouth. Well, the same can’t be said for One Missed Call, a movie so un-scary, that I was actually having a difficult time keeping my head up because I was so bored by the dragging storyline.
Like all distorted face horror movies these days, One Missed Call is based off of a J-Horror movie called, Chakushin Ari, which was actually done by the very respectable director, Takashi Miike (Audition, Ichi the Killer). In this movie, which follows Miike’s film only to a certain extent, we follow psych student Beth Raymond and detective Jack Andrews as they try to track down the source of the calls that have been killing most of Beth’s friends. I call this a distorted face horror movie because that’s what it basically is, as all the “scares” come from a quick flash of somebody with screaming mouths for eyes, or somebody walking by with a sinister, Joker-esque smile on their face.
Back when The Ring came out, this had been a new novelty in the realm of horror—the aspect of never actually seeing the killing, but rather, only the results. Now, it’s a very tired cliche, and One Missed Call pushes the scary face to dialogue ratio over the edge, as almost every few minutes somebody else is receiving a phone call indicating that their chance to bite the big one is next. That’s how the ghost communicates with their victims, you see - by leaving a voice message of the victim’s screams seconds before they die, hence the title, One Missed Call.
In theory, the movie does sound interesting in a "cell phones are evil" sort of way, but the movie’s not meant to be looked at metaphorically and is instead just another jab at technology as a way for ghosts to communicate with the living. This makes me wonder—will emails be the next victim of a wistful J-Horror writer’s imagination? Will the killer be an AOL suscriber who finds their victims in chatrooms and sends IM’s to the person on the other end until their head explodes? The creepy music could be the sound of a screeching dial tone, as these J-horror movies always seem to be dated back by at least a few years.
Jokes aside, though, what really hampers One Missed Call is the fact that the creepy moments are so repetively boring in an almost Final Destination sort of way. Much like that film, this whole movie rests on the concept of who’s going to die next and how they are going to die, and in One Missed Call you find yourself even more bored with every latest entry into the pushing up daisies community.
I will say this, though, One Missed Call at least understands how creepy centipedes are, as they pop up everytime somebody’s about to die. I’ve always found a certain fear of the multi-legged bugs, and always thought it very silly how many times spiders were used in horror movies when centipedes are so much scarier with their many legs, speed, and visible pincers for biting. It says a lot that the only real scare in this entire film comes in the form of a bug that many people have behind the walls in their bathroom. In short, if you want to see crap, you now have two options—the potty room, or One Missed Call. Either has its equal fill.
Featured on this disc are widescreen and full screen formats, and…scene selection? No commentary about why this movie is so terrible or deleted scenes round out the rest of the package of non-special features, which leads me to ask this question: In a technological wonder world of handheld devices and cooking machines that have spinning trays to heat our food for us, couldn’t somebody have at least found a way to fit a trailer or commentary or something on this seemingly ordinary looking disc?
Perhaps sometime in the near future, when cars can fly and meals come in pill form we'll get an appropriate DVD of One Missed Call.