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Shutter (2008)

  Tags: David Denman, ghosts, haunting, James Kyson Lee, John Hensley, Joshua Jackson, Masayuki Ochiai, Megumi Okina, Rachael Taylor, remake, shutter

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Masayuki Ochiai
85 minutes
Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor, David Denman, James Kyson Lee, John Hensley, Megumi Okina

When I reviewed the original Thai movie back in 2005, I was quoted saying how I hoped North America wouldn't catch wind of the film and decide to remake it. Here we are three years later, with a remake. Thanks a lot Hollywood! No movie is safe now-a-days, and that has become very apparent the past couple years, especially with all these horrible remakes of horror flicks. I don't know how they managed to pull it off, but once again Hollywood has turned a creepy supernatural tale into yet another mediocre ghost schlock. Aside from reusing all the same scares, they decided to throw in some "new" ones, which were nothing more than your standard crap (I.E. someone popping out of nowhere to give the audience a quick jolt).

For the most part, the story stays pretty close to original, with the exception of where it's all being taken place. Instead of Thailand, they opted for Japan, where our lead (Joshua Jackson) and his wife (Rachael Taylor) head to for their honeymoon, which also happens to be where the husband's new job is located. I can only assume that they chose Japan instead of Thailand, not only because director Masayuki Ochiai is from there, but also because the general American audience is a little more familiar with the country, as opposed to Thailand, which hasn't been shown much in mainstream cinema. Like in the original, the couple hit a woman while on the road late at night, however, the couple in this film crash, as opposed to its predecessor, where they simply sped off.

It doesn't take very long for strange things to start happening to the couple, especially when mysterious spots show up in their recent pictures. While roaming around Tokyo, the young wife is plagued by visions of a strange woman in white, who won't stop following her no matter where she goes. In an attempt to put a stop to the specter’s antics, the husband-and-wife-duo try to discover who this woman is and why she keeps showing up in their photos, and throughout the city. The original film is creepy and effective, where-as this is just junk thrown at your eyes. The scares weren't effective, and it didn't help that I knew exactly what was going to happen next, since the story remained the same. On top of that, for some reason they chose not to use a couple of the most effective scares from the original. WTF?

Take a note Hollywood, just because you've got a talented foreign director behind the camera doesn't mean the movie will be equal-to or better than the original. It's more-so the script than the director himself, and it's clear that all they did for this script was change the leads and location. However, I give the film credit; it did offer some decent character development, which was lacking in another recent Asian remake (The Eye), and I really enjoyed the numerous shots of Tokyo.

Not only does the story remain almost exactly the same (with the change from Thailand to Japan), but the scares as well, only somehow modified to be less scary. How the hell did they manage that? Only thing I really liked about the flick aside from the Asian chicks, were the nice shots of Tokyo. I'll say now, anyone who wants to see this film, see the original instead. If you already have, then see it again, but whatever you do, don't bother with this.

Posted on September 29, 2011 - 9:32pm | FrighT MasteR