The Ring... Tone 

I'm Sorry, But Voicemail Is Not Scary

While I am very, very afraid of cell phones, I can't seem to muster up enough imagination to be scared of voicemail. Alas, I doubt I'm the only one. One Missed Call (a remake of the 2003 Japanese film Chakushin Ari) depends on the thin scare tactic of people receiving eeeeeerie voicemails in which they hear their future selves die, which makes for a story that just seems phoned in (nyuk, nyuk).

One by one, Beth's (Shannyn Sossamon) friends are receiving mysterious messages from themselves in the future—and as the date and time of their voicemail approaches, they start seeing all manner of bugs and scary-faced people. Within two days of checking their supernatural voicemail they're dead... only to have their phone start calling someone else's number! It's like an evil phone tree! Or it's like if that creepy girl in Ringu didn't have a video store account and had to stay at home to crank call her victims. (Inexplicable side note: For some reason, all these kids end up with a big red candy ball in their mouth when they die—like they somehow bit off a clown's nose in their death throes).

But Beth ain't going to stand for that shit. When she gets her call to the beyond, she teams up with Detective Jack Andrews (Edward Burns, in full burnout mode), whose sister was a victim of the murderous telemarketer. Together they trace this phenomenon to a burned up hospital, where the action in One Missed Call goes from being barely creepy to downright unnerving. Beth careens around the abandoned hospital desperately searching for the ghost that haunts her call plan. And because the setting is spooky and the ghost is scary, the film really gets into a groove... for about 10 minutes. Then you're back to enduring a tedious twist ending. And people who are scared of voicemail.

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