Starring: Joshua Jackson, Rachel Taylor, Megumi Okina
Directed by: Masayuki Ochiai (“Infection”)
Written by: Luke Dawson (debut)
So many times Hollywood studios push Japanese and Chinese horror film remakes in our faces, it’s about time we got something entirely different. (Please make note of sarcasm).
Cue “Shutter,” a Thai horror film remake that may be an example of another country’s cinema, but produces the same bland results as other Asian-influenced filler like “The Grudge,” “One Missed Call,” and “The Eye.”
When recently married couple Benjamin (Jackson) and Jane (Taylor) Shaw move from Brooklyn to Tokyo for Ben’s new job as a commercial photographer, it’s supposed to be a brand new start for the happy newlyweds. However, when Jane runs over a girl standing in the middle of a desolate road, and then cannot find her after she gain consciousness from the wreck, they soon realize that their life in Japan isn’t going to be as expected.
Soon, the ghostly girl begins to reveal herself to Ben and Jane wherever they go. Even photographs that the couple take are somehow imprinted by the girl’s image or mysterious glaring light. Ben’s assistant Seiko (Maya Hazen), who for whatever reason, writer Luke Dawson has turned into an unnecessary sexual distraction for Ben, tells Jane that what she is seeing in the pictures is known as “spirit photography.” And guess what? It just so happens that Seiko’s ex-boyfriend works at a magazine that publishes these types of photos and is an expert in the paranormal pics. How convenient, isn’t it?
Like most other Asian horror remakes, “Shutter” turns into a ghost detective story. Jane, who wants to find the truth behind the haunting, does a little poking around while Ben sits back and works in his darkroom developing prints. It’s a horror movie called “Shutter” so don’t act surprised when there’s an actual darkroom scene written into the script.
It’s that unimaginativeness brought to the screen by first-time writer Dawson that makes “Shutter” like all the others that have come before. When efficient writing is replaced with cliché horror film techniques and underdeveloped characters, things are never going to be at a decent filmmaking level. We see that here with “Shutter” – a weak addition to the genre that should be discarded as fast as the click of a point-and-shoot.