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Shutter Another Mindless Horror Mess

Directed by Masayuki Ochiai
Written by Luke Dawson
Fox, 2008

A remake of a 2004 Thai film, Shutter would have reeked of unoriginality anyway due to the influx of Asian horror that focuses on technological phenomena and lots of slowly creeping ghosts with a grudge. And since most of these films we see in America already have an Asian brother, it’s nearly impossible to distinguish them all.

It’s yet another movie that seems made entirely because of a good ending. I hate watching movies like this. They give you an hour of nothing and then try to make it all better with fifteen minutes of something decent. But then I always wonder why the filmmakers couldn’t make something interesting before that. It’s The Village Syndrome.

In Shutter, newlywed couple Benjamin (Joshua Jackson) and Jane Shaw (Rachael Taylor) move to Japan to start a new life. Benjamin has a big job as a photographer, and everything seems perfect. One night, Benjamin and Jane run over a girl in the street, but she mysteriously disappears…and starts appearing in Ben’s photos. Jane starts doing some digging into the supernatural and finds out that ghosts start showing up out of nowhere because they have something really important to say. You know, this stuff writes itself.

Of course, this ghost isn’t showing up because she got run over…it’s because of something else. And if you’ve never seen a movie before it will come as a surprise to you. The real surprise after that comes as a sort of afterthought, something the whole movie could have used to be creepier and better and made it all the more fun. As is, there’s only a couple of moments the movie refers back to earlier in the film that directly relate to this surprise, and the movie is weighed down by the other so-called “shocker.”

In this film is something creepy, they just didn’t go for it, and the movie just ends up being a big bore.

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