With this slow-burn slice of supernatural horror, Kiyoshi Kurosawa took a now-familiar premise—ghosts making contact with the living through computer monitors and laptop screens—and spun it into an unsettling reflection on isolation, impotence and loss. Kurosawa eschews shock effects for something stealthier, keeping his audience always a little in the dark, playing on their nerves with cryptic signals and impeccable sound design. If the horror film has traditionally appealed to our fear of death, Pulse taps into an even deeper fear: that of, in the film’s words, being quietly trapped in our own loneliness forever.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's new film Real is screening in the Main Slate of the 51st New York Film Festival.