On a lonely freeway late one night a mother & her teenage daughters turn into a rest stop takes them into a surreal nightmare. A young blood-lusting cult attempts to recruit the girl while her mother must rescue her from t... more »he unimaginable .. Vampires? Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 10/02/2007 Run time: 91 minutes Rating: R« less
"A bickering mother (Madeleine Stowe as Senga) and daughter (Mischa Barton as Nat) are on their way home after visiting Nat's estranged father. While at a rest stop their arguing gets so bad that Nat abandons her mother and runs off with a mysterious hitchhiker (Bijou Phillips) that they had picked up. The mystery girl persuades Nat to join her cult and Senga frantically begins to search for her daughter. Eventually, they both learn that this cult has sinister intentions. Madeleine Stowe plays Senga with surprisingly little emotion while Barton's character comes off as a real brat. They never get along and even when Senga attempts to rescue Nat they're still going at it. The movie gets cliche in the final half hour as Senga becomes a one woman army battling the evil cultists. However, the movie does build some good suspense through Senga's fear and suspicions of people who dwell during the nocturnal hours. There's also a good song called "F.E.A.R" that plays over the end credits."
Only-A-Child | 09/29/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Aspiring filmmakers can always count on inspiration from a Marcus Adams production, if stuff this weak is actually making it into $11 Million productions there is hope for everyone no matter how semi-literate or imagination challenged. "Octane" aka "Pulse" looks like one of those productions that had its inception when a music video production designer stumbled across a neat looking industrial complex and got someone to cobble together a story to feature the set in something more than a music video. It looks like it was written on the back of a napkin at a truck stop because music video director Adams took huge liberties with Stephen Volk's script, and many of these changes were literally made on the set during shooting.
Rather than use the set in one of his music videos, Adams assembled a cast and shot a movie long on style and short on intelligence and substance. Imagine a nonsensical mix of "The Horse Whisperer", Rosemary's Baby", and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Volk's original screenplay of a British mother and her 12 year-old daughter trapped in a car on a motorway they could not get off, was fundamentally altered. So much so that Volk seriously considered having his name omitted from the credits. Adams' "on the fly" changes destroyed any possibility of unity and logic. Confused viewers searching for hidden meaning and explanations are wasting their time, there is simply no method to the madness.
Madeleine Stowe suffers through this with a bad haircut and a general look of stunned surprise. Most likely due to having the her script change on a hourly basis. All this gives the movie a disjointed look.
Barton looks pretty used up until her love scene with the cult leader (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) when they put her in heavy eye makeup. With her anorexic face, gap teeth, and big eyes you can really see the Mia Farrow resemblance. Unfortunately Barton has a huge Cameron Diaz smile which tends to spoil the illusion. Her smile is the creepiest thing in the whole movie. Although contrived and silly this scene looks great and almost justifies making the movie-but it would have been much better as just a music video, duh.
Beware of a movie with multiple titles. Apparently "Octane" refers to the tank truck the cult uses for transportation and making merry, although it is actually a milk truck. Maybe they should have called it "Lactose". The how and why of the "Pulse" title remains a mystery, there is a hint about vampires but any explanation must have been on Volk's second napkin which he accidentally left behind at the truck stop.
Close viewing of "Octane" will also be an inspirational experience for aspiring editors as most high school video students are ahead of the movie's post-production people. A particularly glaring jump cut happens early when Stowe runs out of the path of a speeding truck. The long lens makes the truck appear to be about three feet from her as she scrambles out of the way, two seconds later they cut to a side shot and the truck is still several feet from reaching where she had been standing.
Think about it, with that same $11 Million to spend Dominique Swain could have cranked out eleven equally lousy movies.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
Mind Numbingly Dull
Erik E. Rimmer | USA | 07/20/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was awful. Madeline Stowe deserves better, and Mischa Barton should stick to the O.C Dumb premise gets even more muddled when the mother (spoiler!) finds her daughter, the daughter still behaves like a total brat. I would have left her with the bloodsuckers."
A Bizarre Movie About a Killer Highway Cult.
New Age of Barbarism | EVROPA. | 08/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"_Pulse_ is a bizarre movie about a mother and daughter travelling along a highway late at night on their way home from visiting the father. The movie then plunges into total weirdness as we witness the actions of a bizarre cult as they disguise themselves as ambulance medics and attempt to rescue a man trapped in his car after a crash. Apparently this cult seeks bigger things. After stopping at a diner because the mother is beginning to become sleepy, the daughter picks up a hitchhiker, who tells a tale of her travels to India to the daughter and mother. Then, things get weird as the hitchhiker asks to be let off at the nearest rest area and immediately disappears leaving her CD featuring Indian chanting. Later on they stop again and this time they have a spat over concert tickets that the father has given to the daughter in the movie. This time the cult ends up finding the daughter and kidnapping her. The rest of the movie is spent as the mother tries to regain her daughter from their evil grasp. However, towards the end of the movie it begins to make no sense again . . . and the ending completely remains unfulfilling. The movie is suspenseful nonetheless and will provide a night's worth of entertainment as one faces the horrific tragedy of a killer highway cult. However, what exactly this means we may never know, because the movie has failed to wrap up the ending in an understandable manner. I still enjoyed it however and thought the idea was strange which is why I am giving it 5 stars."
Good suspense bad story
M. A. Ramos | Florida USA | 06/26/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"In this film made in UK and Luxembourg, Madeline Stowe stars as Senga. Senga and her daughter Nat are driving at midnight after visiting Nat's father. They bicker the whole trip and it just increases when they stop for a break at a rest stop. Nat runs away with a mysterious girl who tries and recruits her into a mysterious cult. And we are left with a nerve wracked mother doing all she hectically can to retrieve her daughter.
Both the daughter and mother eventually learn that this cult kills people for their blood. Why they do so is never explained. And even at this point when Senga is trying to rescue Nat, she still acts like a brat. The last third of the movie seems to just generate more confusion. And becomes unbelievable and my main reason for the rating I assigned.
That good part of the movie has to be attributed to the direction, not the wirtting. The movie is dark and suspenseful. Though you do not know what really is transpiring in this movie, it does keep you on the edge of the seat as Senga tries to rescue her daughter."