Ok, so I want to make an original horror movie. Here is my idea: there is group of kids and a certain song plays on their Ipod's right before they die (I'm thinking "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey). Wouldn't that be great? The answer is no, it would suck. As R. Lee Ermy would say, "(the movie) could suck a golf ball through a garden hose". And do you know why? It's not because I think it's slightly ridiculous that ghosts would chose to haunt electronic equipment. It's not because I think a very loose story line being held together by something you can buy at Circuit City is a miserable basis for a movie. It is because it's been done. Now I am not usually one to advocate The Ring, which I felt to be good on suspense but lacking in character development and a solidly conceptual story line, but it was a decent movie. However, I now condemn it for giving uncreative copy-cats a reason to exist.
These people have gone ahead and made One Missed Call. It has a fairly simple plot. College students get phone calls from their dead friends in which they hear their own deaths. I know…creative isn't it?
But I couldn't bring myself to write it off just yet, so I got my popcorn, found a chair in the movie theatre, and sat back to enjoy. I did however manage to write it off after 5 minutes. This supposed thriller couldn't scare a child. I've been more terrified by lint.
The movie starts off with the death of a random teenage girl, so I knew it was going to be interesting. She was talking on her cell phone about seeing hallucinations. She thought she saw something in the pool so naturally, as opposed to glancing over at it, she walked over, knelt down right next to the water, and was dragged in by a mysterious hand. After a couple of seconds a red hard candy floated to the top and her phone dials one of her friends by itself.
The friend is at a party when she gets the call. It is a voice mail which plays a strange ring tone which isn't hers. Of course, when my phone makes a strange sound, I immediately think "haunted cell phone." The message is dated three days from then and she hears her voice as she dies. Naturally three days from then she finds herself all alone on a high platform over train tracks, she starts to see dead people and then a figure walks up behind her and shoves her off the high platform and she dies as the friend she was on the phone with is running to her. As her friend, Beth (Shannyn Sossamon), stands looking at her dead body, she notices her phone is dialing another friend.
Well, Beth goes to the police, who think she's crazy. All but one that is, Jack (Edward Burns), who's sister died in much the same way, with the same red candy coming out of her mouth as the past two girls who we actually watched die. They put two and two together and figure out that his sister and her friend worked together and they figure they must find the source of the phone call chain to end it.
Meanwhile her friends and brother continue to die, all of them get calls from the previous one and all see the same dead people, bugs, and hooded figure before they die. One of them even goes so far as to be on a TV show where a priest exercises her cell phone but she still dies.
The cop and Beth eventually trace the phone calls back to a woman who's daughter was being kept in a hospital which burned down. Her other daughter had died of asthma and when the hospital burned down her mothers body disappeared. The super-sleuths, one of which, Beth, is a psychology student and determines that the mother of these girls had a mental disorder (Munchausen Syndrome) where the mother would hurt her children to get attention.
Unfortunately, the clock starts ticking when Beth gets the fatal voice mail, and they only have one day left to figure it out. They track down the living daughter, who hasn't spoken since her mother died, and try to talk to her, but she wont speak, so naturally they head straight to the source, and go to the burned hospital. Beth starts to get attacked by the visions of dead people and tries to escape by crawling into a vent where she finds the burned corpse of the dead mother with a phone in her hand. A phone which is still on. She breaks it and feels better, but the clock on her death is down to a few minutes. She starts to feel better but then the corpse comes to life and tackles her in the vent. She is afraid she is about to die, but she survives the time of death which we see go by on the phone, then the corpse falls over.
Upon further review, they figure out that the corpse was trying to protect her, but from what? They go back to the little girl and check her teddy bear which she always holds on to (and the source of the strange sound everyone hears on the voice mail) and finds a baby camera. It has a video on it of her sister hurting her, giving her candy, and their mom catching her and locking her in the room. She has an asthma attack and dies trying to call her mom on her cell phone, hence the ambiguous theme.
Beth and Jack go back to her house and are just hanging out when there is a knock on the door. Jack goes and looks through the peep-hole and is stabbed in the eye and dies. The door shoots open and the hooded figure tries to kill Beth. But her mom pops out from behind her and chokes her until she disappears, then the movie ends.
There is also another sub-plot of Beth's mom abusing her and her dad killing himself, but it doesn't matter at all and it is just added to the movie for the sake of having a sub-plot. Other than that all of the major characters, save two, are killed off or disappear, so there isn't any real character development. The movie just ends up being a poorly scripted, unoriginal, and hollow horror movie which would have been better off simply not being made.