May 20, 2012

Shutter, 2008

Shutter, 2008
Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Cast: Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor, James Tyson

Stage: Home theatre, late Saturday, after Chelsea first won the Eu Championship

Shutter in short: 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.

Preps: Well, I am not familiar with the piece nor with the story. Recognize Joshua Jackson and become curious. Link

Reality: Hm. It is a step forward in what I am used to watch in american horror movies or at least the ones that pretend to be made in this genre. However, you cannot just take some of the ghosts in japanese brilliant horror movies and press them into american scenes and think it will do the trick. One way is to put them in japanese placement (applause for the idea, obviously due to a japanese director). But let him do the japanese secret and not submerge it to low american horror standards. There were just a few directors in complete cinemography that could pursue the real horror spirit. One of my favourites of all times was Hitchcock, he really knew what he was doing.
A true horror isn't about the blood that is spilled, but it is hidden in the imagination of the viewer, the music, the scenes that aren't really ending in horror, but the ones where the viewer is imagining what is happening beyond the scene and is trembling out of fear.
Now, this one has its moments. I will admit that it gave me some chills and that is a major step forward in prosecution of a horror movie. The topic is intriguing and in my opinion this could be one of the better ones. Still, the delivery fails me in some way. Seeking ghosts from the pasts that come after you because you have been a bad boy is something that chases us constantly. Shows respect to religion, beliefs from childhood that haunt you even when you are an adult. And respect to the one you carry deep in your heart, your sweetheart and honesty that can break with a deed from the past that wasn't revealed.
The ghost images are real, the haunting is real and it gives me chills. The girl is taken from a movie I already have seen (the Ring) and the image is pretty similar. Now, don't take us for stupid, we can all recognize the same girl. Now, you can reuse the idea, but do not take all world's spectators for monkeys. The perspective, where the girl comes closer in snapshots, also taken from The Ring. Lame and not worthy of a great directors. Ok, do copy, but not to that limit where it's recognizeable so instantly.
Jackson and Taylor do have their energy well spoken out, however, the act isn't really trustworthy. Do better next time.

My personal rating: 5,0 (Could have been much better and much nicely put together. It is a step beyond a regular american "horror", but still leaves me empty).

Shutter on IMDb

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