One Missed Call is a 2008 American supernatural horror film and remake of Takashi Miike's 2003 Japanese film One Missed Call, which itself was based on the Yasushi Akimoto novel Chakushin Ari. The film was released in North America on January 4, 2008 and was directed by Eric Valette and written by Andrew Klavan. The film, starring Shannyn Sossamon, was produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Despite being a moderate box office success, the film was panned by film critics often regarding it as the weakest J-horror remake to be released.
Psychology student Beth Raymond is shaken by the deaths of four people she knew: Shelley, Leann, Brian, and Taylor, after they received chilling phone calls apparently of themselves in the future, showing the exact time of their deaths. After each of their deaths, a single red hard candy comes out of their mouths. In all the cases, the people who got the call see strange apparitions shortly before being killed. Beth reports these strange occurrences to the police; however, they think she is delirious.
Detective Jack Andrews believes her and since Beth is the next one to get the call, they try to unravel the mystery. They eventually trace the calls back to a woman named Marie Layton, who was apparently abusing her children, Ellie and Laurel. They learn that Ellie died of an asthma attack, and that Laurel is in a foster home after her mother went missing.
Believing that Marie is the source behind the murders, Beth travels to the recently burned St. Luke's hospital, where Marie was last seen. She finds Marie's body there, burned to death, clutching a cell phone. At the time of Beth's foretold death, Marie's corpse assaults her while weeping. It is later revealed that Marie's spirit was actually protecting Beth, not trying to hurt her.
While visiting Laurel, Andrews goes to her room and finds her teddy bear with a video disc in its back. The disc is a video of a camera Marie hid to monitor Laurel and Ellie. Ellie had cut Laurel's arm with a butcher knife. Marie had entered and realized that the abuse she has been blamed for has been Ellie all along. She then left to take Laurel to the hospital, locking Ellie in the bedroom. Ellie suffers an asthma attack and dies while dialing her mother's cell, making Marie the first real victim of the curse. Laurel tells Andrews that though Ellie hurt her, she always gave her the red hard candies, the ones found in the mouths of all the victims.
Andrews realizes that the force behind the murders is Ellie, and races to Beth. The two hear a knock on the door and as Andrews looks through the peephole, a knife stabs through it and kills him. Ellie's spirit appears and reaches out to strangle Beth. The spirit of Marie then appears and grabs Ellie, saving Beth yet again. A red candy spills out of Andrews' mouth and his cell begins to dial a number on its own, revealing that Ellie's ghost is still out there, and more people will die.
One Missed Call was announced in 2005, before being officially greenlit by Warner Bros. in early 2006, with Eric Valette signing as the film's director. The film began production in June 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia with Edward Burns, Margaret Cho, and Shannyn Sossamon signing on. On August 3, 2006, Ed Harris and Gabriel Byrne both signed on to appear in the film, however both withdrew due to unknown circumstances.
Sound designers used the voice of Skid Row front man Sebastian Bach in the hospital basement scene. The exact clip comes from Bach's scream at the beginning of "Midnight Tornado", a song from the band's 1989 debut album, Skid Row.
The film was intended for release on August 24, 2007, however was later pushed back to January 4, 2008. On August 30, 2007, the film's trailer premiered on Yahoo! Movies and late September/October 2007 the film's poster was released along with other numerous promotional images. The song "Life is Beautiful" by Sixx:A.M. was used in television advertisements for the film.
In December 2007, the official website was launched as well as numerous websites running competitions to promote the film with the first prize being an Apple iPhone.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray were released on April 22, 2008 with no special features. The film was also released on iTunes and on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
One Missed Call opened in 2,240 theaters on January 4, 2008. The film earned US$5.2 million on its opening day and $12,511,473 on its first weekend, ranking #5 at the North American box office. The film grossed $26,890,041 in the United States and $18,957,710 overseas for a worldwide total of $45,847,751.
The film was not screened for critics. It was universally panned by critics, receiving a 0% "Rotten" approval rating and an average score of 2.5/10 based on 79 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, who gave it their Mouldy Tomato Award for the worst-reviewed film of 2008; the site's consensus states "One of the weakest entries in the J-horror remake sweepstakes, One Missed Call is undone by bland performances and shopworn shocks." It is rated the second worst film of the 2000s decade behind Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. Metacritic reported the film had an aggregate score of 24 out of 100, based on 14 reviews.
Despite being a remake of Chakushin ari, the film was strongly criticized for borrowing plot elements and being similar to Scream (1996), Final Destination (2000), The Ring (2002), The Grudge (2004), Dark Water (2005), and Pulse (2006).
Relationship with One Missed Call (2003)
One Missed Call includes several scenes that were in the original film. This includes the exorcism scene, where one of the characters is killed while filming the show American Miracles. The characters of Beth, Leann, Taylor, Jack, and Brian all being based on the original characters Yumi, Yoko, Natsumi, Yamashita, and Kenji. Another reference is contained within the theatrical trailer; while Leann is walking down the street, a piece of the original ringtone from One Missed Call (2003) plays in the background until she falls from the overpass.
- Official website
- One Missed Call at the Internet Movie Database
- One Missed Call at AllMovie
- One Missed Call at Box Office Mojo
- One Missed Call at Rotten Tomatoes
- One Missed Call at Metacritic
- One Missed Call on Myspace