Takashi Miike's "One Missed Call" (2003) is an unsettling example of J-Horror's ability to meld modern technology and traditional ghost lore to create a truly chilling cinematic experience.
The story revolves around Yumi Nakamura (Kou Shibasaki), a young woman who, along with her friends, starts receiving mysterious voicemails. The voicemails appear to be from their future selves and capture the moments of their horrifying deaths. As Yumi investigates, she uncovers a dark history tied to an abusive mother and a vengeful spirit.
Miike's direction is adept, masterfully building tension throughout the film. The incorporation of modern technology as a conduit for horror is a unique and interesting approach. It adds a layer of realism and immediacy that enhances the overall sense of dread.
The performances are solid across the board, with Shibasaki in particular delivering a compelling portrayal of a woman caught in a spiraling nightmare. Her fear and determination to uncover the truth serve as the emotional core of the film.
The cinematography, by Hideo Yamamoto, is atmospheric, using dark and desolate settings to heighten the sense of unease. The haunting score by Kōji Endō further enhances the unsettling ambiance.
While "One Missed Call" may have a few familiar horror tropes, it effectively uses them to create a chilling and suspenseful narrative. It's a potent blend of technology-fueled fear and traditional ghost lore that lingers long after the end credits roll.