“To repeat this message, press one. To hear your own death rattle, press two.” In essence, that’s One Missed Call, a film that fails to have any fun with a concept as ludicrous as a cursed voicemail that tells its recipients when they die. One could easily counter that this remake of the 2004 Japanese film of the same name is, in theory, a horror movie. As do many of its Asian-derived, PG13-rated ilk, however, One Missed Call isn’t scary. It trades atmosphere and genuine scares for lame jump scenes and bloodless violence – a combination that should spook only the same pubescent ticket buyers who will likely attend One Missed Call in large enough that studios will excrete more of these J-horror remakes, annoying discerning movie-goers more than an ill-timed cell phone ring in a darkened theater.
Even a decidedly B-level cast seems to be hampered by the D-level The Ring rip-off script, which revolves around The Girl Who Does Not Die (Shannyn Sossamon) and The Cop Who Helps Her (Edward Burns) trying to find the source of the fatal, ghost-summoning calls. Along the way, barely-there characters get the axe, including The Black Girl Who Dies First (Meagan Good), The Blonde Friend (Azura Skye), and The Superstitious Catholic Girl (Ana Claudia Talanc³n). Also, Margaret Cho is there, for some reason. One has to wonder what everyday appliance will next be inhabited by ghosts. An iPod? A espresso machine? Let’s pray the ghosts take on movie cameras next and stop this trend of blood-drained, scare-free garbage.