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One Missed Call Trilogy: One Missed Call: Final Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Arrow Video

One Missed Call Trilogy Large

Directed by Manabu Asô
Written by Minako Diara and Jiro Shin
2006, 104 minutes, Not rated

Starring:
Maki Horikita as Asuka Matsuda
Meisa Kuroki as Emiri Kusama
Jang Keun-suk as Jin-woo Ahn
Erika Asakura as Minori Yazawa
Yū Kamiwaki as Mari Shimazaki

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Review:

A group of Japanese students are on a fieldtrip to Korea where their teacher has given everyone a camera phone for an assignment. The devices start receiving mysterious text messages, photos and voicemails. The texts advise them to avoid death by forwarding this message to a friend. The audio recording arrives from the not-too-distant future and plays the sounds that will be heard at the moment of their death. The catch is whoever you pass the text on to will die in your place. The group receives a photo of one of their former classmates hanging dead. They immediately draw the connection that the messages must be coming from the girl in the photo whom they mercilessly bullied into attempting suicide.

Emiri is a nice girl, not one of the bullies. She wants to stay out of trouble and spend time with her deaf Korean boyfriend Jin-woo. Once her classmates begin dying off and turning on each other, Emiri suspects that her friend Asuka has something to do with spreading the curse. Emiri and Jin-woo try to remain calm and start their own investigation. The turnaround time from receiving the message to actual death has been greatly reduced and now comes within minutes rather than days. Somehow Jin-woo figures out that there is a ghost inside a computer and devises a plan to overload the system. Emiri makes pleading phone calls to her friend to stop, but things quickly go sideways and she becomes a target herself.

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The third entry in the franchise, One Missed Call: Final, ignores the previous film’s revelations and returns to the curse as witnessed in the original picture – sort of. The vengeful spirit is that of a little girl named Mimiko, who despite dying many years ago, now possesses advanced knowledge of the internet and other technology she never experienced in life. Apparently she is still angry and her powers of possession are growing to the point that she can control a comatose host in two places at once.

Screenwriters Minako Diara and Jiro Shin are not too concerned with logic, as they are more interested on creating chaos. They do bring some fresh ideas to the table, primarily testing one’s morality in terms of willingness to forward a death sentence to a friend to save yourself. Director Manabu Asô (Senrigan) focuses on the increasing sense of panic as the body count grows. When the motive for the calls is revealed, audiences will likely land on the side of the caller, as most everyone but Emiri and Jin-woo are jerks that kind of get what they deserve. This is the weakest entry in the trilogy but is also the fastest moving. The film builds to an over-the-top finale that is immediately undercut by the decision to go for one last scare before ending on a bittersweet note.

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Video and Audio:

All three films are presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio and sport solid HD transfers. There is a lot of detail present, particularly in hair and fabrics. Flesh tones appear natural throughout and colors are well-saturated.

A DTS-HD MA 5.1 and a DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo mix is offered for each movie and while both options are solid, the expanded 5.1 track is more satisfying – particularly on the original film that makes great use of the surround channels. These are Japanese films that include optional English subtitles.

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Special Features:

Disc 1: One Missed Call

Takashi Miike biographer Tom Mes provides an audio commentary that begins with an analytical discussion of modernism, the fear of technology and the history of J-horror cinema. He goes on to talk about the cast and crew and points out information about specific scenes. Unfortunately, he runs out of steam about an hour in and resorts to casual observations, onscreen narration paired with extended gaps of silence.

The Making of One Missed Call (2003, 57 minutes) is an archival documentary on the film’s daily production activities. A generous serving of behind-the-scenes footage offers a chance to watch Miike direct and there are also interviews with members of the cast and crew. In Japanese with English subtitles.

A quartet of archival promotional interviews (2003) featuring actors Ko Shibasaki (6 minutes), Shinichi Tsutsumi (4 minutes) and Kazue Fukiishi (2 minutes) and director Miike (3 minutes) have been included. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Miike returns in another vintage piece (2003, 20 minutes) in which he talks about the difficulties of the production and overcoming creative differences. He shares insight into the writing process and putting his stamp on the J-horror movement. He talks about his approach to building fear and his philosophy on horror movies. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Live or Die TV special (12 minutes) is a multi-angle featurette of raw footage shot for the scene involving the TV show. Press enter on your remote when an angle icon appears in the corner of the screen to switch cameras. The material is in Japanese with English subtitles.

A Day with the Mizunuma Family (3 minutes) is fullscreen playback of the hidden video footage of the origin of the curse that appears on a monitor in the finished film.

An alternate ending (4 minutes) begins oddly enough with a content warning before following up with the wounded exorcist character following the TV special.

Footage from the premiere is included, beginning with Screenings (2003, 14 minutes), shot at the Tokyo International Festival with members of the cast and crew addressing an audience. This is followed by a press conference and a photo op. In Japanese with English subtitles.

The original theatrical trailer is accompanied by two teasers and five TV spots.

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DISC 2: One Missed Call 2 & One Missed Call: Final

The Making of One Missed Call 2(2005, 33 minutes) offers behind-the-scenes material, including rehearsals, production work and interviews with the lead actors. This documentary is in Japanese with English subtitles.

Director Rempei Tsukamoto introduces a collection of three deleted scenes (10 minutes) cut for pacing problems or emotional tone. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Gomu (4 minutes) is a pointless short film from Tsukamoto, featuring someone else receiving the deadly call and dying soon after.

One Missed Call 2 music video – “A Prayer for Love” by aki (5minutes)

A theatrical trailer is joined by three teasers and four TV spots.

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The Making of One Missed Call: Final (2006, 52 minutes) follows the same template of the other documentaries in this collection. A collection of behind-the-scenes video diaries shows the cast and crew at work on set, interviews with the director and main cast members and clips from the finished film. This segment is in Japanese with English subtitles.

The archival video Maki and Meisa’s Long Day (2006, 16 minutes) spends time with actresses Maki Horikita and Meisa Kuroki on the film’s press junket. We follow the ladies as they participate in interviews, take publicity shots and attend multiple venues filled with reporters and a live theater audience. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Behind the Scenes with Keun-Suk Jang (2006, 12 minutes) catches up with the actor in a series of video diaries shot on and off set. This segment is in Korean and Japanese with English subtitles.

The short film One Missed Call: The Beginning of the Love Story (2006, 12 minutes) explores the relationship between Emiri and Jin-woo and preparations for the upcoming school trip to Korea.

Candid Mimiko! (2006, 15 minutes) is a comedic parody TV show placing the “very real” ghost girl in front of the cameras of a fake film crew and taking her to various haunted locations. There is a mildly entertaining idea for a Ringu crossover and some footage from both the behind-the-scenes documentary and clips from the finished film.

The theatrical trailer has been included.

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Grades:

One Missed Call:
One Missed Call 2:
One Missed Call: Final:
Threeandahalfstars
Threestars
Twoandahalfstars
Cover
Buy Amazon Us
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Video: Fourstars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Fourstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
ZigZag
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
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