What is it that determines whether a film is deserving of a re-mastered re-release? Plenty of companies gain the rights to cult classics that fans long for in mighty Blu-ray HD quality or even 4k, more recently. While others seem to waste time on movies that don’t have any business living past their VHS-only existence. Where does the recent release of Paul Golding’s Pulse fall on this spectrum of horror gems? Read on and find out.
On vacation from school, David (Joey Lawrence, television’s Blossom, Brotherly Love) is staying with his father (Cliff De Young, Flight of the Navigator, The Craft) and step-mother (Roxanne Hart, Highlander) for a bit. It doesn’t take long for young David to notice something isn’t right with the electronics in the house — the TV screen freezes and shuts off, the dryer catches fire, etc. Can he convince his parents that they need to leave or will it be too late before they realize they should be running from the voices in the wires?
Pulse is yet another late 80’s horror film that I’ve never even heard of until now. There seem to be plenty of those floating around and I’m glad that there are companies, in this case Mill Creek Entertainment, who are still interested in giving horror fans neat new releases for their collections. While this one doesn’t feature any blood and gore, it is still a fun little supernatural sci-fi thriller that is certainly worth your time.
The cast consists of mainly three actors — Cliff De Young, Roxanne Hart, and a very young Joey Lawrence. I was pleasantly surprised by this small group of performers, as each one did a wonderful job. It’s nice to watch an unknown genre film from 1988 and not be completed turned off by the acting, for once. It happens very seldomly, unfortunately, but it is possible. De Young and Hart had enough on-screen chemistry to play a convincing married couple and Lawrence did remarkably as the main focus of the entire film. I haven’t seen or heard of his name at all in recent years, so this was a nice way of being reminded that he once dominated my TV screen in the 90’s. We’re even treated to a few scenes with an even younger Matthew Lawrence, who also was a huge part of my 1990’s television viewing in Brotherly Love and, later, Boy Meets World.
Aside from the good acting, Pulse features some impressive effects and beautiful camera-work. There are multiple shots taking us inside the duct-work and inner workings of various motherboards and circuit breakers, electricity going wild all the while. Tons of fire and a myriad of explosions in the film’s third act also add to the magnitude of this rather low-budget feature, making it feel much larger than I’m sure it was.
Pulse may not be making anyone’s top 10 film list anytime soon, but it is definitely a good watch. It is a supernatural horror flick about a house turning against its owners, but it is tame enough to watch with your kids, if they are into the darker side of cinema. The film is available now on Blu-ray for the first time from Mill Creek Entertainment, so be sure to pick yourself up a copy today!
I give this one 3.5 metal things in the garbage disposal out of 5.