Movie Review for One Missed Call (2008)

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Review #594 of 365
Movie Review of One Missed Call (2008) [PG-13] 87 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $4.00
Where Viewed: United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15, Denver, CO
When Seen: 5 January 2008
Time: 5:20 pm
DVD Release Date: 22 April 2008 (click date to purchase or pre-order)
Film's Official WebsiteFilm's Trailer

Soundtrack: order the CD below

Directed by: Eric Valette (Maléfique)
Screenplay by: Andrew Klavan (A Shock to the System) Based on novel Chakushin ari by Yasushi Akimoto

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Shannyn Sossamon (The Holiday) • Edward Burns (The Holiday) • Ana Claudia Talancón (Love in the Time of Cholera) • Ray Wise ("The Reaper") • Azura Skye (God's Beach) • Johnny Lewis (AvP: Requiem) • Jason Beghe ("Cane") • Margaret Cho (Bam Bam and Celeste) • Meagan Good (Stomp the Yard) • Rhoda Griffis (We Are Marshall) • Dawn Dininger (debut) • Ariel Winter ("Criminal Minds") • Sarah Jean Kubik (debut) • Raegan Lamb (debut)

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Click to read the spoiler points for One Missed Call
Looking for the spawn of a hybrid between Final Destination and The Grudge? If so, then you're at the right place…Eric Valette's One Missed Call should fit the bill just perfectly. The only problem is that one would have to wonder why you were looking for such a thing? Do you have a thing for malevolent ghost films? Again, if you do, this is your ticket. Only, be forewarned this one is not quite the caliber, plot-wise, mostly because this has pretty much all been done before. Some people refer to this as unimaginative, recycled, derivative, or just plain over-done.

Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) finds herself at the epicenter of a chain of calls beginning with one of her friends, Leann Cole (Azura Skye), who receives a cell phone voice mail from a mutual friend of theirs, Shelley Baum (Meagan Good)—only (a) Shelley has just been cremated—she was drowned in her backyard fish pond, (b) the voice mail is in Leann's voice not Shelley's and has her screaming as if she's about to be killed, and (c) is dated from a time and date in the future. How scary and freaky, right? Well, it is actually kind of scary.

… the first and possibly worst film of 2008.
Sure enough, at the appointed time and date, Leann meets her maker as she's shoved from a pedestrian over-bridge onto the railroad tracks below just as a speeding train arrives and killing her instantly—but not before she manages to phone up Leann's friend Brian Sousa (Johnny Lewis) leaving him a voice mail from the future. When Brian is killed by a freak acetylene tank explosion at a construction site across from the coffee shop where he and Beth have met to discuss why he's been acting so horrible, especially to his girlfriend Taylor (Ana Claudia Talancón), Beth seeks out the help of police. The victims have a lot in common: they were all in each other's cell phone directory, they were all killed at the exact date and time of the incoming voicemail from the future, and they all spit out a glassy red candy upon dying. How freaky? Actually it was a little bit freaky. Police Detective Mickey Lee (Margaret Cho) is of pretty much no help sort of shrugging all this off as coincidence—which made practically no sense as she's in on even another mysterious death in similar circumstances including the red hard candy, that of Detective Jach Andrews's sister. So, as Beth departs the station, hero Jack chases her down and offers to help. Jack (Edward Burns) mentions that he agrees with her and that there is a pattern. He wants her to let him know if she remembers anything else that could be helpful. She returns home to another creepy letter from her institutionalized mother and Taylor in tears. Taylor is convinced she's going to be next. They get the idea to take out the batteries of their phones—no battery no calls. Apparently, they don't know much about malevolent ghost energy. But they learn the hard way when one of their phones goes off in the middle of the night playing a creepy melody. But, you'll have to check out the spoiler if you want to know any more about the plot.

Well, if any of this sounds familiar and you've not seen Final Destination or The Grudge before, it might be because you saw the Japanese film, Chakushin Ari, of which One Missed Call is a remake. Having had some success in the past with remakes of Japanese malevolent ghost films, why not keep on going until every single one has been remade? How about because they're kind of repetitive? How about because they all seem to end with the possibility of a sequel? How about because they're now about as fresh as teen slasher films were before Wes Craven revitalized them with his ingenious Scream? Nonetheless, One Missed Call does have a couple scary moments. Andrew Klavan's screenplay utilizes most of the usual tactics, while Eric Valette's direction is clean and clear. Stylistically, the film sticks to the genre. The acting, well, it's adequate. Edward Burns and Shannyn Sossamon starred together in The Holiday as well. This time they take center stage, though, not having to compete with Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslett, nor Jack Black, who, by no surprise, are not in this film. They both do the best they can with this uninspiring story which seems to borrow elements from When a Stranger Calls and even The Sixth Sense as well. It's not until near the conclusion, when Beth takes a trip, alone, to a condemned hospital "where it all began" that one really has to stop and say, "Come on, someone out there has to be able to come up with something even just slightly new?" Sadly, the film will most likely be remembered as the first and possibly worst film of 2008. The bright side is that it's out of the way, and there's almost nowhere but up to go from here. Oh, and Margaret Cho definitely needs a new agent.

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Cast Members
Shannyn SossamonEdward BurnsAna Claudia Talancón
Ray WiseAzura SkyeJohnny Lewis
Jason BegheMargaret ChoMeagan Good
Rhoda GriffisRaegan LambAriel Winter
Eric Valette
Andrew Klavan
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Review-lite One Missed Call (2008) [max of 150 words]
This remake of the Japanese malevolent ghost story, Chakushin Ari known as One Missed Call, misses the mark right out of the gate as derivative of Final Destination hybridized with The Grudge. While Edward Burns and Shannyn Sossamon try their best, Eric Vallette's direction takes the film down precisely the same path we've now seen just too many times to really care about how this one goes. No doubt, the film will most likely be remembered as the first and possibly worst film of 2008. The bright side is that it's out of the way, and there's almost nowhere but up to go from here.

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