Review copy provided by Arrow Video
For my review of “One Missed Call” I’m going to be doing something a bit different. I was so very fortunate to have received the Blu-ray box set from Arrow video so Instead of reviewing just the films I will also be reviewing the Blu-ray package as a whole as well. So, my views on the film don’t correlate to my opinions of the what is offered in this collection.
One Missed Call
Yumi Nakamura’s whole life is turned upside down when people close to her start receiving phone calls, voice mails are left by someone who sounds like the person who received the call. It is revealed the messages are from their future selves foretelling their deaths.
“One Missed Call” is very much inspired by films like “The Ring” (“Ringu”) and also “The Grudge” but this isn’t too surprising as those types of films were a huge phenomenon at the time. However similar to those films it is I still really enjoyed this film. For one Takashi Miike’s (Audition, 13 Assassins) direction is really good, the tv show sequence is the best sequence in the film, the way the tension slowly builds to a thrilling conclusion is just expertly done. Ko Shibasaki (Battle Royale) is really great as Yumi Nakamura you really feel for her and want her to live through the film which is really important as to me if you don’t like the characters you won’t care if they are brutally killed off.
Speaking of kills, some of the kills in this film are extremely satisfying and creepy but the first kill of the film contains really dated CGI and because of that the kill feels kind of silly. The film also sets up clear rules on how the demon phone calls work and to me this is important with any demon movie as if the demon doesn’t have rules then the tension is immediately killed, the film follows the rules it sets up until the ending where it bends the rules so it can have a twist ending and to me it felt cheap and I really didn’t like it. While “One Missed Call” isn’t a perfect horror film I do find it be an extremely fun and enjoyable film, while it won’t terrify you, I do think that anyone who likes horror/Japanese horror will have a good time with this film.
One Missed Call 2
Disclaimer: I avoid plot details for the second film as do not want to spoil One Missed Call.
One Missed Call 2 does a lot of things I really enjoyed. it explores more of the origins of the demon from the first film and it continues to add to the interesting lore and themes the first film explored. it didn’t take the characters too long to realise what was going on, I was worrying it would take an hour before they bring up the first films events but it doesn’t and I really appreciated it and they add a new rule which I think adds a nice twist to the film, the new rule is if a person answers someone else’s death call they will die instead, I really like this twist as it adds an interesting emotional dynamic to the film.
But the film has way more problems than the first one, to me a big issue this film has is that the film is nowhere near as scary or creepy as the first one, the kills aren’t as disturbing either which was a let down. There’s nothing like the tv set piece from the first film in the sequel and to its a real shame. The films biggest issue is the ending is really confusing and I had no idea what was happening, I legit had to google what happened after the film ended as I had no idea what was happening.
To me for every good thing this film does there always one bad thing for example, the acting is good, I like all of the cast members and the 2 main characters are a believable couple that I enjoyed watching but the film is really slow in the middle as it all just explore the back story of the demon and while I didn’t find the entire middle boring there where some parts of it that I was a like can we speed this up.
I think this film is just ok critically however I still enjoyed watching “One Missed Call 2” as there’s some really fun moments but it’s not as good as the first one.
One Missed Call: The Final
Whoa, this film is bonkers! To me this film is kind of bad, it tries to do something different by introducing another new rule that if you forward a message you get the person you forwarded it to will die instead. This new rule takes up the majority of the film and leads to what I don’t like about this film as the whole voice mail aspect of the demon calls are just dropped and it sucks as to me when the character sees the dialog mentioned in the voice mail it adds to the tension of the film but instead this is replaced with scenes of high school students arguing and fighting each other to make sure the message can’t be forwarded to them.
Also, this films plot is just bad, basically the plot is a group of high school students going on a trip to South Korea but while on the trip Asuka a girl who is bullied by her classmates tries to seek revenge by sending them the demon phone calls. There are many parts of this plot that doesn’t make sense, how does someone send the demon phone call to someone else, did the demon just say let’s change all the rules because it’s the final movie. Also, there’s many scenes that flat out confuse me like how does the Korean character know more about the demon phone calls than the Japanese characters while this issue is slightly explained at the end it still doesn’t make sense.
However, there are things I enjoyed about the film, the teacher just assaulting students to get there phones off them is just flat out funny and after this scene happens the best kill in the entire trilogy happens, this kill caught me off guard with how violent it is. I think this film has the strongest ending as it’s the least confusing and the twist makes sense and has some emotion to it
This film isn’t good, it’s kind of bad to be honest but it reaches a point its so bad that its good and shockingly there’s some really good moments in this.
Arrow Video always put 110% into their releases by including a heap of bonus features, a booklet if you purchase a first edition and reversible cover art. Arrow video did an excellent job with this release, each film gets a making of documentary, there’s a new audio commentary on One Missed Call by Miike biographer Tom Mes, Deleted scenes from One Missed Call 2, A short tie in movie for One Missed Call the final and much more.
I love both the original cover art and the newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin. If you’re lucky to get the edition with the slipcover maybe have the original cover art on the Blu-ray case and have the new commissioned work as the slipcover. With the first pressing of this release you’ll get a 30-page booklet which contains info on the cast and crew for all 3 films, writings on the films by Anton Bitel and information on the film transfers.
Honestly Arrow Video releases are always great, there worth every penny if you love collecting physical media Arrow Video never disappoint and the same goes for the One Missed Call trilogy. if you love cult films and j-horror films I highly recommend this collection, it is worth its asking price.
The only issues i have with this blu-ray package is that theres a lot more bonus features for the first film than the second and third film and the making documentary for the second film is only 30 minutes long compared to the hour long documentaries for the other 2 films.
Overall Rating For the Collection
The One Missed Call Trilogy is out now Blu-ray