PG_13, 85 min, 2008

Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Writer: Luke Dawson (screenplay) (as Luke Dawson)
Stars: Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor, James Kyson

Shutter is (yet another) Asian horror film  remade for the American audiences, cast with English-speaking would-be stars, and dumbed down from an already dumb premise until any scintilla of wit is drained out of it.

Benjamin (Joshua Jackson of TV’s Dawson’s Creek infamy) and Jane (Rachael Taylor) just got married. For the honeymoon, they decide to drive to a nice cabin in the woods, but on the way they appear to hit a pale Asian girl and run her over. They pass out, wake up, and the girl is gone without a trace. Jane is bothered by this, but Benjamin just wants to move on.

After the honeymoon, the couple moves to Tokyo for Benjamin’s new job as a photographer. Jane is threatened at first by Benjamin’s relationships with the pretty young Asian girls he works with, but that’s only the beginning. Soon, it appears that Benjamin’s camera is taking pictures haunted by spirits – specifically, the girl they apparently hit with their car. Jane and Benjamin’s terror increase through mysterious deaths, paranoia, etc. until the truth behind the girl’s motives is finally revealed.

The film, directed by Masayuki Ochiai, is yet another in a long series of vaguely supernatural horror from Asia – this is based (uncreditedly) on the 2004 film of the same name from Thailand.

As long as there is a market for Asian horror in America, I fear it will continue to be exploited. This isn’t exactly “bad” – it’s eerie, decently made, and mildly interesting to a point – but if you aren’t exactly sickened that it was done, you do wonder why it was done at all.


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