One Missed Call (2003 film)

One Missed Call (Japanese: 着信アリ, Hepburn: Chakushin ari) is a 2003 Japanese horror film directed by Takashi Miike. The film is based on the novel Chakushin Ari by Yasushi Akimoto. The plot revolves around Yumi Nakamura, a young psychology student whose friend Yoko gets a strange voice message on her cell phone. The message is dated two days in the future and Yoko can hear herself screaming in it. After Yoko mysteriously dies, her death sets off a chain of events which leads Yumi to discover that this phenomenon has been occurring throughout Japan long before Yoko received an alarming call from her future self. When Yumi receives a call with the date and time of her death, she struggles to save herself and learn the truth behind the calls.

One Missed Call
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTakashi Miike
Produced by
Screenplay byMinako Daira[1]
Based onChakushin Ari
by Yasushi Akimoto[1]
Music byKōji Endō[1]
CinematographyHideo Yamamoto[1]
Edited byYasushi Shimamura
Distributed byToho
Release date

January 17, 2004 (Japan)
Running time
112 minutes[1]
Budget$1.7 million[2]
Box office$16.2 million[3]

The film received an English-language adaptation in 2008.


While out at a pub with friends, Yoko Okazaki misses a call on her cellphone, but the caller ID says it's from herself. She and her friend Yumi Nakamura listen to Yoko's voice message, dated two days into the future, where she says it's starting to rain, followed by a horrendous scream. Two days later, Yumi receives a call from Yoko and realizes that Yoko is on the same routine as the voicemail. Yoko screams as she is violently thrown off an overpass onto a speeding train; her severed hand is seen dialing a number. Although authorities assume suicide, her schoolmates recall similar deaths that were preceded by voicemails. Yoko's boyfriend Kenji Kawai tells Yumi he got a voicemail from himself dated two days after. Kenji dies and a red jawbreaker candy falls out of his mouth as his phone dials another number by itself.

Yumi meets Hiroshi Yamashita, a detective who has been investigating the curse that also claimed his sister Ritsuko. Yamashita shares that the next victim is called one minute after the previous death, and that the victims have red jawbreakers in their mouths. Their investigation leads them to a hospital which has since changed its building and number. Yumi recognizes a sound she heard before Kenji's death: a spritz from an asthma inhaler. They trace the autopsy records to a girl named Mimiko Mizunuma who had died from an asthma attack, with her mother Marie going missing. Ritsuko's journal shows that whenever Mimiko had an attack, her sister Nanako would suffer some injury at the same time. They suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, where a parent purposely makes a child sick so she can take care of her and be praised for it. Yumi's friend Natsumi also becomes a victim and dies. Yumi gets the cursed voicemail and reveals to Yamashita that her mother abused her as a child.

At an orphanage, Yamashita meets Nanako, who is unable to talk, but has a teddy bear that plays the same song as the ringtone. At the abandoned hospital, Yumi is haunted by the spirit of Mimiko. Her cell messages her that she will die in one minute. Yamashita finds an arm clutching an active cellphone, and stops its call. After the minute elapses, Yamashita uncovers a crate holding Marie's body. It comes to life and Yumi sees her own abusive mother in Marie. She tearfully embraces her, apologizing for leaving, and Marie's body returns to a corpse.

Yumi goes home and Yamashita visits Nanako at the orphanage. The Mizunuma videotape that Yamashita found reveals that Marie did not abuse her children; instead, Mimiko abused her sister. The tape shows her cutting Nanako, then suffering an asthma attack. Marie found out the truth and rushed Nanako to the hospital, leaving Mimiko to die. Nanako tells Yamashita that she would get a candy from Mimiko if she stayed silent. Yumi is haunted by Mimiko in her home, playing out the same events her voicemail showed. When Yamashita arrives, he finds Yumi normal, but is stabbed by her when they embrace, and sees Yumi appearing as Mimiko in the mirror. After a dream where he helps the dying Mimiko with an inhaler, he wakes in a hospital where a possessed Yumi feeds him a candy with her mouth and smiles, revealing that Mimiko has found "a new Nanako" in Yamashita to care for.


Character Japanese actor English voice actor
Yumi Nakamura Ko Shibasaki Kate Davis
Hiroshi Yamashita Shinichi Tsutsumi Liam O'Brien
Natsumi Konishi Kazue Fukiishi Jennifer Sekiguchi
Ichiro Fujieda Yutaka Matsushige Kim Strauss
Oka Goro Kishitani Joey Capps
Detective Yusaku Motomiya Renji Ishibashi Michael McConnohie


One Missed Call premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival on November 17, 2003. Its English title was listed as You've Got a Call at the festival.[4] It was later released theatrically in Japan on January 17, 2004, where it was distributed by Toho.[1] It was released by Media Blasters in the United States with English subtitles on April 22, 2005.[1]

Critical receptionEdit

Rotten Tomatoes reports a score of 44%, with an average rating of 5.23 out of 10, based on 27 reviews from critics. The website's "Critics Consensus" said the film "has a few interesting ideas and benefits from director Takashi Miike's eye, but is ultimately too unoriginal to recommend."[5]

Entertainment Weekly wrote, "One Missed Call is so unoriginal that the movie could almost be a parody of J-horror tropes", yet "Miike, for a while at least, stages it with a dread-soaked visual flair that allows you to enjoy being manipulated."[6] LA Weekly called it "a prolonged, maddening, predictable—yet curiously pleasurable—descent into incomprehensibility."[5] The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that "Miike, whose work usually veers into more surreal, experimental terrain, uses creepy-crawly juxtaposition, grisly violence, and dark humor to create a nightmare scenario for the text-message generation."[7]


The film was followed up with the sequel One Missed Call 2 which was released in 2005.[1][8] One Missed Call, a ten-episode Japanese television drama was broadcast in 2005.[citation needed] One Missed Call: Final was released in Japan on 24 June 2006.[9]


The film was remade as One Missed Call, a Japanese and American co-production that was released in 2008.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Galbraith IV 2008, p. 430.
  2. ^ "One Missed Call - Box Office Report". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Chakushin ari (One Missed Call)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "One Missed Call (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  6. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (20 April 2005). "[Entertainment Weekly review]". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  7. ^ Steven Rea.
  8. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 436.
  9. ^ Galbraith IV 2008, p. 443.


External linksEdit