It seems like an odd choice to hire a Frenchman to remake a film by Japanese master Takashi Miike. I've only seen half a dozen Miike features to date, which isn't many considering that he makes at least that number in any given year. But I can say that his style ranges from utterly insane to completely cracked, and few French filmmakers -- who generally specialize in intelligence and austerity -- could match him. But director Eric Valette brings something interesting to the new remake of One Missed Call. Most horror remakes come complete with an undisguised sense of callousness, and almost flat-out disdain, for their intended customers. But One Missed Call has a kind of effective low-key tone. Perhaps it was confusion or sheer laziness, but it worked for me far better than some other junky remakes I've seen.
Sure, the story is unbelievably stupid, and the film doesn't do much to justify its silly logic. Both this and Miike's film were adapted from a novel by Yasushi Akimoto, and I'd like to believe that the novel made a far better argument for its plot. A med student, Shelley (Meagan Good), dies after receiving a mysterious phone call. After her death, her phone mysteriously dials a friend, and that friend dies. And so on. The calls come in dated and timed to some point in the near future, and the recipient of the call hears his or her own voice at the moment of their death. So they know exactly what day and time they're going to die and they know what they're going to say, but that information can't help some of the dumber characters from saving their own lives. One character sits at a café with only one minute to go to his impending death. Instead of sitting there safe one minute longer, he decides to get up and cross a busy street.