A newly married couple discovers disturbing, ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Fearing the manifestations may be connected, they investigate and learn that some mysteries are better left unsolved.
A newlywed couple Ben and Jane move to Japan for a promising job opportunity - a fashion shoot in Tokyo. During their trip on a dark forest road they experience a tragic car accident, leading to the death of a young local girl. Upon regaining consciousness, they find no trace of her body. A bit distraught the couple arrives in Tokyo to begin their new life. Meanwhile Ben begins noticing strange white blurs in many of his fashion shoot photographs. Jane believes that the blurs are actually spirit photography of the dead girl who they hit on the road, and that she may be seeking vengeance.Written by
Unfortunately I didn't manage to catch the 2004 Thai original before this American remake premiered at the annual Belgian Horror and Fantasy Festival. I didn't bother to see it when it initially got released because there already was an overload of Asian Ghost movies at that time and I really couldn't cope enduring another dull and scare-free imitation of "Ringu". After seeing the US remake I'm definitely interested in checking out the original sooner or later. The basic idea of restless spirits trying to communicate through photography is remotely original, but the elaboration (at least in this remake) remains somewhat tedious and predictable. Immediately after their marriage, Jane follows her photographer husband Ben to Tokyo where his friends arranged a splendid job for him. Jane, but soon after also Ben, suffers from visions of a deceased girl and all the pictures they make are ruined by ghostly images of this same girl. There's more than obviously a link between this girl and Ben's past days as a bachelor, but Jane only gradually learns the truth of what happened exactly. To my knowledge, this is the first and so far only Thai film to be remade by a Japanese director but with American funds and cast members. Talk about an international co-production! Masayuki Ochiai previously directed the incredibly atmospheric and uncanny hospital-horror film "Infection", so he definitely knows how to build up suspense and terror through suggestion. The main problem here is that the ghostly subject matter is too "soft" and doesn't lend itself to provide some genuine shock-moments. We've all seen too many (Asian) horror movies already in which white-faced spirits spontaneously appear & disappear again, and the mystery is always build up towards a point where the script can't possibly fulfill the audience's anticipations anymore. In "Shutter", you rather quickly figure out that Ben knows than he tells, so you can easily guess each and every plot twist far in advance. There are a very limited number of sets and exterior locations. Why didn't the film take advantage of the wondrous city of Tokyo, like for example "Lost in Translation" did? Rachael Taylor is certainly a promising actress with a lot of growing potential, so I hope she'll get offered a couple of better screenplays in the near future. Thus far, she only has horror rubbish like "See No Evil" and "Man-Thing" on her repertoire and those things won't get her noticed. Neither will "Shutter", for that matter.
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