[Screen It]

(2007) (Shannyn Sossamon, Edward Burns) (PG-13)

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Horror: Various people must contend with receiving voice mail recordings from the future that play the sounds of their own pending deaths.
Beth Raymond (SHANNYN SOSSAMON) is a college student whose chosen field of psychology cannot possibly prepare her for what's about to transpire. While she's able to console her friend, Leann Cole (AZURA SKYE), following the unexpected death of a third person, not to mention Leann's ex-boyfriend, Brian Sousa (JOHNNY LEWIS), now being interested in fellow student Taylor Anthony (ANA CLADIA TALANCON), she isn't sure what to make of a voice mail message that Leann receives.

It appears that the call came from Leann's friend after the latter's death, with the time stamp indicating the call has come from the future. More distressing is the fact that it's Leann's voice and the sound of her screaming on that message. When she ends up dead, Beth, Taylor, Brian and others freak out, as the deadly supernatural force appears to move from one person to the next, indicated by a distinctive ring tone that's heard even if the next victim's phone has no battery.

Such occurrences not only draw the attention of paranormal TV show host Ted Summers (RAY WISE), but also that of local detective Jack Andrews (EDWARD BURNS) whose sister has also recently and mysteriously died. As he and Beth try to get to the bottom of what's occurring -- with their search eventually involving young sisters Laurel (RAEGAN LAMB) and Ellie Layton (ARIEL WINTER) -- they find themselves racing against time, particularly when Beth receives her message indicating she's going to be the next victim.

OUR TAKE: 2 out of 10
Our new reviewing policy for films that aren't shown in advance to critics is that we'll only provide a paragraph or two about the film's artistic merits or, more accurately, lack thereof. After all, life is too short to spend any more effort than that on a movie that even the releasing studio knows isn't any good (which is why they hid it from reviewers before its release).

This remake of the 2003 Japanese horror flick "Chakushin ari" is about as scary as a telemarketing call from those brave enough to violate the "Do Not Call" Registry. It's more annoying that it is informative, let alone entertaining, mainly because the "scares" are threadbare from genre overuse, and the minimally fleshed-out characters don't engage us one iota. Our advice? Hang up on this nuisance that rates as just a 2 out of 10.

Reviewed January 4, 2008 / Posted January 4, 2008

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