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Fred Finds He has One Missed Call

Published January 4, 2008 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Warner Bros. Pictures.
One Missed Call Poster One Missed Call
Well, this movie was exactly what I expected it to be. One Missed Call will surely not be spoofed in Scary Movie 5, nor will that ringtone be downloaded as a promotional tie-in.

Movie Review: One Missed Call


The premise is that someone gets a phone call from someone who died. The missed call leaves a voice mail that is their own voice dying, dated some time from now. When the time comes, it happens, and their phone calls the next victim. Ooooooh.

Firstly, the film can't decide whether it's ripping off Final Destination or The Ring. Sometimes it's wet, gooey supernatural deaths. Other times, it's circumstances conspiring to kill someone. If you can do it better, fine, rip them off. If you can't even do it as well, certainly don't rip off both! They do a good fake-out where you think it's the same old backwards walking death and it's different, but it's already too little too late.

The scary visions are not scary at all. Bugs, eyes with teeth, veiny faces and other ghostly apparitions are so lame. It makes me appreciate the brilliant mediocrity of Pulse. The hand grabbing the cat is funny, but it's the only joyfully crazy moment in the entire film.



The film's idea of building a mood is to have characters repeatedly describe the plot. "I heard this happened." Yes, we've established that in the scenes so far. "I heard that too." Yes, we've been following you the whole time. "Now I'm really creeped out." Good, at least someone is.

The dialogue in general is barely there to hit plot points. Nobody sticks to any position long enough to establish a character. It's just "I think this." "No, let's do that because we need to get to this part of the movie." "Oh, okay, that's what we'll do now." It's like they just transcribed the pitch meeting and made that the dialogue. "Hey, what if this happens?" "That's great, so great in fact that we'll just have her say it exactly like you said!"

It's not even an interesting backstory. They set it in the world of child abuse and post traumatic stress, as if that gives it significance. It's still just a string of contrived events that manifest in uncreative ways.

There's a supernatural TV show that comes together very quickly. Like within a day of discovering this case, they've already produced a full edited intro and they're shooting it live, which of course always happens on low budget schlock TV. It wouldn't matter if it were good fun, but in this case it's just another example of incompetence.

It's funny, I see all the January movies in December. So while everyone else is discovering the Oscar movies, I saw those months ago and it's my turn to see the January dump movies. I just have to remember that this is not one of the worst movies of 2007, it's one of the worst movies of 2008.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Warner Bros. Pictures.
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