I am a horror fan. I like psychological thriller as well as slasher flicks and it seems that the best horror themed flicks right now are coming out of Japan. Instead of going overboard, seeing how far they can push the audience with gruesome glee, Japanese filmmakers are taking a different approach. They pray on your inner fears and I like it.
I'll admit that when Shutter showed up on my doorstep and I read the talent involved, I was a little concerned. Rachel Taylor (Jane) I knew from Transformers and Joshua Jackson (Ben), let's face it, will always be Pasey Witter, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was surprised.
The film begins with newlyweds Ben and Jane just after their wedding, making their way to Japan for a job opportunity. Getting lost along the way to their cabin, Jane asked for help navigating and when she looks back up, there's a girl in the road. The car leaves the road and when Jane comes to, she's convinced she's hit someone, but is informed that the police can't find anyone. Ooh spooky. Both are relatively unhurt, except for a nagging pain in Ben's shoulder.
White blurs begin popping up in Ben's fashion shoots and even in Jane's tourist shots. Seeking help, Jane is told about the capturing of a spirit's energy on film or simply spirit photography.
As the story unfolds, Jane is certain the ghost of the girl on the road has attached herself to her and her husband.
Then comes the twist. Don't worry… I'm not gonna tell.
The start of the flick is a little slow but when the story starts rolling, it doesn't slow down. There already is a build up beginning but when we learn of Ben's chums Adam and Bruno's dirty little secret, the story goes to a new depth. But the real payoff scene is when Jane develops an instant camera that was left in their apartment after their wedding and while they were in Japan. Creepy and cool.
Shutter has a great look and the Japanese scenery is breathtaking. Filmed in Japan by director Masayuki Ochiai, the flick falls short of being a classic but accomplishes what it set out to do -- creep the pants off you.
Final Cut: Although far from a perfect film, Shutter leaves you chasing shadows and giving nervous glances over your shoulder. Jackson and Taylor deliver very strong performances and Megumi Okina is delightfully disturbing. Has one of the best images to end a film I've seen in a long, long time.
3 out of 4 stars
Check out reviews for Stargate: Continuum and Asylum
1. Commentary with Production Executive Alex Sundell, Screenwriter Luke Dawson and actress Rachael Taylor
2. A Cultural Divide featurette
3. The Director: Masayuki Ochiai featurette
4. A Conversation with Luke Dawson featurette
5. Create Your Own Phantom Photo featurette
6. The Hunt for the Hunt: Tools and Tips for Ghost Hunting featurette
7. Deleted Scenes
8. Alternate Ending
9. Exclusive First Look: Mirrors starring Kiefer Sutherland