Scariest Scene in Pulse

(Welcome to Scariest Scene Ever, a column dedicated to the most pulse-pounding moments in horror. In this edition: Pulse proves you don’t need a jump scare to induce goosebumps.)

20 years after its initial Japanese release, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s supernatural chiller Pulse (Kairo) hits closer to home than ever. The similarities between the film’s events and the global pandemic lends a prescient quality to Pulse that reads differently today. Kurosawa’s unsettling ghost story draws basis from a terrifying concept; a heavily overcrowded afterlife caused the dead to spill over into the world of the living. It spreads like a viral infection, plunging the globe into despair and death through the very thing meant to connect us – technology.

Everything about Pulse set it apart from the J-horror craze that swept through horror at the turn of the century. Instead of long-haired ghosts in white or jump-scare laden curses, Kurosawa opts for a slow-burn atmosphere that coils the unease tighter at every turn through the power of suggestion. Never is that more evident that the movie’s scariest scene that shows the ghostly invasion in action. Kurosawa transforms the seemingly mundane into pure nightmare fuel with the surreal appearance of a haunted figure.

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best foreign movies and tv streaming

(Welcome to Pop Culture Imports, a column that compiles the best foreign movies and TV streaming right now.)

It’s time for another Pop Culture Imports, and we’ve got an eclectic bunch of subtitled fare this week — from a techno-horror classic, to an Oscar-nominated war drama, and an absurd comedic anime.

Fire up those subtitles and let’s get streaming.

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Best Movies Streaming Right Now Godzilla vs. Kong

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) Read More »

friend request

This coming weekend sees the release of a new horror movie hoping to scare audiences out of a few bucks, and we’re hoping it delivers despite seeming destined to open lower than a certain other horror movie heading into its third weekend. I’m looking at you, Stephen King’s IT.

If nothing else, Friend Request stands apart from the old-fashioned thrills of killer clowns and pervy dads by hitching its jump scare-filled wagon to something far trendier. Yes, of course I’m referring to the dangers of social media. The film sees a popular young woman accept a friend request from someone much lower on the social ladder, but when she realizes her faux pas and ends the “friendship,” she discovers a demonic presence who isn’t too keen on saying goodbye.

The internet has offered an enormous boon to commerce, education, and cowardice, but while it brings users together there’s no doubt it’s also keeping people apart. The idea of humanity losing touch with the very connections that make us human is frightening enough in the abstract, but over the years, filmmakers have found and focused on very specific nightmares related to our increasingly online existence. The resulting movies haven’t all been winners – sorry Smiley and Open Windows – but a few have tapped into universally felt fears easily enhanced and magnified by the global nature and anonymity of the online world.

Keep reading for a look at the eight scariest internet-related horror movies.

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