Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The first film of 2008 and would you look at this, in practically the first scene in the first movie of this brand new year there is the absolutely lovely Meagan Good. Fantastic! It only gets better because she’s also wearing Meagan Gear which more times than not consists of something cut nice and low and three sizes too small. So let’s get my large diet pop and my extra buttery popcorn and sit down to watch me some ‘One Missed Call’ because even if the movie sucks total ass I get to watch Meagan for the ninety or so min… oh damn. Well so much for Meagan Good. I know the African American character is slated to die eventually but Come On! Can’t we at least make it past the opening credits? Booooo this new trend in 2008. Oh well, hopefully Ana Claudia Talancon will fair better than Meagan since she to is wearing Meagan Gear and she is also capable of going toe to toe with Ms. Good in the battle of hotness, though Meagan probably wins in a decision. Another reason ‘One Missed Call’ is appropriate to start off 2008 is because like most of the movies of 2007, 2006, 2005 et. al, it is a derivative remake of a far better film.

Shelly (Good) gets a call on her cell phone and next thing we know she’s dead. Oddly enough after she died, a call from her cell phone is sent to the phone of her good friend Leanne (Azura Skye). Leanne listens to the message and then passes the phone to Final Girl Beth (Shannyn Sossamon) who thinks it’s curious that Leanne gets a phone message from dead Shelly’s phone with soon to be dead Leanne’s voice on it screaming in terror. Plus Leanne is starting to see dead people, which really cements the fact that death is her Final Destination or anybody’s Final Destination if they don’t avoid The Ring. The circle continues with a friend biting the dust and the next friend getting a phone call telling them the exact time that they will die.

All of this mess started with the peculiar death of the sister of hero cop Jack Andrews (Ed Burns) who along with the help of final girl Beth manages to track down this madness, having something to do with some nurse who was abusing her children or something. As you might have figured out, Beth has gotten the dreaded phone call and now she and Jack must race to find out what the hell is going on before Beth’s Destination becomes Final.

On the one hand ‘One Missed Call’ isn’t so bad a movie as it has plenty of eerie atmosphere and some solid jump out of your seat scares. It’s also not a very long movie so it’s not going soak up a lot of your precious time and it is paced decently enough that it’s never dull or boring. But unfortunately most of us have two hands and when I look at the other hand I see a movie which is, ‘Surprise Surprise’, a remake of another Japanese horror movie in ‘Chakusin Ari’. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. In a nation of 300 million, with 90 percent of those being screenwriters, you mean to tell me not a single American citizen can come up with an ORIGINAL but decent horror movie concept? Now despite the fact that the Japanese original was directed by the insane but awesome Japanese auteur Takashi Miike, it was at best mediocre and this is what they choose to remake. Note to Japanese filmmakers: Make a horror movie, any horror movie, no matter how lame it might be and we will give you millions to remake it over here. But even if we choose to ignore the obvious derivative roots of ‘One Missed Call’ it is more difficult to ignore the painfully derivative narrative. It’s as if in the pitch meeting the studio execs wasn’t happy that they weren’t already stealing an entire novel, but the pitcher also had to throw in ‘Imagine Final Destination meets The Ring meets The Sixth Sense while taking place at Dawson’s Creek’ to greenlight the deal.

Naturally in films such as this, common sense also tends to go straight out the window and the challenge is for you, the viewer, to either accept or ignore what your senses are telling you. You will ask yourself ‘Why is this mystical creature killing these pretty young people who have done nothing except work on their abs?’ You will get an answer but the answer will not answer anything. This is a bit of a SPOILER but in the end the mystical creature is halted in a way that makes you wonder why this other mystical creature didn’t just do this from the get go which would have allowed us to look at Meagan in tight clothes a little longer. There are other little oddities like how in the world did our mystical creature acquire these amazing mystical powers, or the required red herring ending which lacks any kind of forethought of originality. With the exception of the exorcism performed on a cell phone. Now THAT was original. Stupid but original.

‘One Missed Call’ isn’t a total failure as it did have its scary moments, PG-13 scary moments that is, and it also had some funny bits that probably weren’t meant to be so. If you’ve never seen a Japanese horror movie, American Remake of a Japanese horror movie any of the Ringu or Final Destination flicks then it’s quite possible that you may consider ‘One Missed Call’ one heckuva thrill ride. Otherwise let’s just sit back and hope 2008 gets better than it has started.

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