Let’s start this review off right. About 95% of the way through the movie, I turned to the girl next to me and said “This is bullshit and pointless.” As the credits began to roll I simply stated “That was … stupid.” So you see where I’m coming from here. But the entire movie was not shit, really, it seemed to have some sort of promise at times. I guess for an unimaginitive remake that just borrows from every J-Horror movie out there, it was about as well done as it could be, writing wise. The dialog and characters and plot seemed pretty okay for about 70% of the time. Then it turned to dung.
In the movie, Ben Shaw and his wife Jane (Joshua Jackson & Rachel Taylor) are newlyweds who experience a strange accident while driving, running over what they believe to be a woman, but what the audience can clearly tell is a typical Japanese Horror Inspired Ghost (JHIG). Shortly thereafter they move to Japan were Ben is a professional photographer, but all the photos have a mysterious blur or shape in them that everyone knows is a ghost, except for Ben and Jane. Soon, they figure out that the images are ghosts and they work on ridding themselves of this terror. Rather abruptly, the ghost turns violent against Ben’s friends and equally abruptly they quickly find the body of the JHIG and have it cremated. Moving back to America, all is well for about ten minutes before Jane stumbles on a stupid and random, yet still obvious, secret and Ben is left to face his demons and do something stupid. Seeing the pattern?
Two people die in this movie and we come across one dead body. So the grand total of dead things is three. Both kills are weak.
We get a ripped out eyeball that we see very little of and a man plummets to his death, smacking to the ground 120 feet below without bursting and pouring organs. Instead, he just bleeds. A ghost gets run over by a car, there are some burns and electrocutions. Typical JHIG sightings including images of a pale, black haired girl with fast or awkward movements. Nothing original in that department. On the gross out side, we see a corpse, a skull, and flies pour out of a mouth and crawl out of an eye. Why? Don’t really know.
We get two scenes that tease us with lingerie clad women, but not a single frame of nudity to be found. The first lingerie scene could have easily been cut without impacting the story in the slightest. Rachael Taylor is jaw-droppingly hot.
Don’t go to Japan, everyone is haunted by a ghost out to avenge a wrong or some such thing. The things you do will come back to haunt you, literally.
Like I said, the movie was engaging for a little bit before falling flat on its face. There isn’t much original here – if you’ve seen one Japanese Horror movie, you’ve basically seen this one. There are some scary images that don’t necessarily make sense in any context but the score is effective. The climax happens all too quickly and comes out of right field. Once you know there is a twist coming, it’s an easy one to guess and should catch absolutely no one by surprise. In the beginning, there are some cool “in camera” type shots that sets up a style that is fun, but that is abandoned after the first 15 minutes and never comes back.
To sum up Shutter in a haiku:
Needlessly Remade Movie
Should I end all my reviews in haiku? Have you seen Shutter? What were your thoughts?