The Japanese horror genre is giving a new lease of life to Hollywood shockers, but if the US version of 'The Grudge' is anything to go by, the English language version of 'The Ring' and its sequel will take some beating. But even 'The Grudge' has a bit more to offer than 'Pulse', a reworking of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's film 'Kairo' and yet another reason to save your money.

Set on and around a college campus, 'Pulse' follows a psychology student (Bell) and a computer whiz (Somerhalder) as they try to find out what's behind the suicides of a number of their peers and why the Internet and mobile phones seem to be a common factor in all the deaths.

While the screenplay for 'Pulse' was written by Wes Craven, don't be fooled: this is a contender for horror letdown of the year. With an interesting plot completely wasted, what you get instead is the usual alluring mix of bad acting, no scares and characters that you could care less about. Think 'The Ring' combined with The Aphex Twin's video for 'Come to Daddy' and you've made the whole film in your head.

"The world we know is gone, but the will to live never dies", says one character at the close. You wouldn't bet on it after this.

Harry Guerin