Plot: What’s it about?
The presence of electricity is all around us. If it leaves even for a few moments, our lives can be thrown off course, sent into darkness. The potential dangers involved are ignored by most, but everyone knows the power involved. The man known as Old Man Holger (Charles Tyner) has his own theories about electricity, how it isn’t just a source of power, but that is has a life of its own. He is laughed off by Bill Rockland (Cliff De Young), even after an incident that almost killed his son David (Joey Lawrence). An electric spark ignited a gas pipe, causing an explosion that almost took David’s life. Then a freak accident leaves his wife Ellen (Roxanne Hart) scaled by the home’s water heater. Neither of these situations concern Bill as far as the danger of the electric power, but when his power tools attack him, he changes his mind. Even as he realizes that a sinister force is at work, can he act fast enough to save his family?
As a horror movie fan, I’ve seen how lethal the power of electricity can be, after all, it was used to bring Dr. Frankenstein’s monster to life. Not just that beast either, but numerous others, including everyone’s favorite fried felon, Shocker. But in most cases, the damage was done by the beings reanimated by the electric juice, not by the actual energy itself. In Pulse however, we see the true evil nature of electric power and trust me, you’ll never look at a light socket the same. Ok, so you will. But still, how many chances do we have to watch a young Joey Lawrence chased around by pulses of energy? This is not really a horror movie per se, as the terror is tame and there is no real blood whatsoever. Kind of like those television specials about natural disasters, only this time, the story is about electricity gone wild. Pulse is just a lame movie in all respects, so don’t even waste your time on this clunker.
Video: How does it look?
Pulse is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I figured this would be a low grade treatment, given the film’s low profile, but is not the case. The print is by no means pristine, but looks quite clean and has held up better than I anticipated. You’ll still see some grain and debris, but for what it is, this looks much, much better than I expected. The dark visuals do lose some detail at times, but not too much, though the grain does soften the contrast to some extent. As far as colors, what is here looks natural, especially the sparks. So in the end, a more than solid treatment from Sony.
Audio: How does it sound?
I didn’t detect much surround presence, but the musical soundtrack pops up in the rear channels, as well as some atmospheric elements. Not enough to be memorable, but enough surround use to keep the audio active and somewhat immersive. The sound effects are mostly anchored in the front channels, but all the elements seem in proper order here. And as I said before, the music is well handled in this track, while dialogue is clean and never suffers from volume imbalances. Not a dynamic soundtrack, but a more than solid overall presentation. This disc also includes subtitles in English, French, and Japanese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes no bonus materials.