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Shutter (Widescreen) (Unrated Edition) (2008)

A movie directed by Masayuki Ochiai

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*Farts* Oh, poo. Another crap remake. How...original.

  • Mar 28, 2011
Rating:
-4
* out of ****

ome people tend to hate remakes of films because...well, because they are remakes. Usually, these films are remaking RESPECTED films, or perhaps not. "Shutter" was a horror film that I respected. It was released somewhere around 2004, and I saw it a while ago. I liked it; it was admirable, fun, and scary at times. But here we have the 2008 remake, which turns out to be a flaming pile of crap. The sad thing about this horror remake is that it mimics the plot of the original, and even tries to re-create the scares. You CANNOT do that! You need to come up with your OWN stuff if you want to successfully remake a movie. I guess the filmmakers involved in this horrific mess didn't acknowledge that, and just decided to be as unoriginal as possible. Sure, I can deal with unoriginality, since believe it or not, there are some talented filmmakers out there who can put fun and intelligent spins on over-used or familiar concepts. "Shutter", as a remake, owes a lot to the original; and in that sense, it should be much, much better. It should have at least been decent, but alas, it is not. Horror films should have tension and scares, but "Shutter" just doesn't have either. It's a bland, essentially unwatchable exercise in which we get the pleasure of witnessing a stupid director, a stupid writer, and a surplus of stupid actors hack away at one of my favorite genres; the horror genre. This is not why I go to see a horror film. I go to a horror film to be scared, and I sure as hell don't go to waste my time. "Shutter" perhaps works best as an unintentional comedy, which is not a compliment, but still makes it laughable. And that is what keeps "Shutter", like most horror remakes, from being one of the worst films ever made. It's laughable, cheesy, and terribly derivative. Yes, some horror movies are horrifically gory. This one is even more horrific. It's a horrifyingly stupid horror movie that plays it too safe, plays it too dumb, and can't even conjure up a single jump or scare. I hated it; and so will anyone else who can truly say that they were scared whilst watching the original film.

If you have seen "Shutter", you know the story; a couple runs over a Japanese girl with their car, go out to investigate, speculate that she must be dead, and then go along with their lives. Yes, this all happens within the first act of the remake of "Shutter"; which this time has an American couple in Tokyo for a job in photography (the husband's profession, as usual). Next, the job begins, but something isn't right with the photos that the husband takes. The images are typically distorted by a bright shadow, and often times, you can make out a ghostly woman. This could be the woman that they hit early on, speculates the wife. As it turns out, this is indeed the case, but the big twist of the story is finding out why the ghost is after the couple. Of course, the twists were pretty absurd in the original film, and of course, I could get around their utter absurdity. However, I'm not engaged enough here to forgive the remake of "Shutter" when it comes to its many flaws. The twists feel sillier, as do all of the "scares". What you get when you combine all the crap involved in this flick and put it together is a big, hulking mess. It cannot be forgiven, but luckily, it can be easily forgotten. It's not as if I expected much more (or less) from the American horror film industry, those generic bastards.

Watching Joshua Jackson act in "Shutter" is like slamming your hands in a car door, repeatedly. What was the appeal of this guy? Why was he in this film? Why is he ACTING? Every actor is acting for a reason, and perhaps Jackson's reason is because maybe he CAN act, just not in a horror movie such as "Shutter". His character is boring, and his dialogue is uninspired. And Rachael Taylor...well, don't even get me started there. She's pretty bad too. I think it's safe to say that just about everyone involved in this movie sucks. That's right, even the filmmakers. In fact, they are to blame for this flick's epic failure. They can't direct the actors; and the actors can't do good work themselves. Wow, what a damn ugly thing to behold.

I'm starting to think that PG-13 horror is seldom good horror. Sure, you can have a scary and fun horror movie without much gore, profanity, and nudity; but it's films such as the remake of "Shutter" that remind you of the word "restrained", as well as its meaning. The problem with "Shutter" is not that it's too gruesome and disgusting; its that its not scary. A lot of disturbing horror films have gotten closer to scary than "Shutter" ever will, which is a shame considering that the original film was pretty scary. As I said, part of the problem here is too much poor recreation. The scenes that made me jump in the original are recreated here in a laughable matter. I didn't even jump once, and I'm sorry to say; pathetically staged suicides and lame ghostly imagery doesn't scare me that much. I wonder how much money the filmmakers were given to make a film as anti-atmospheric and down-right sad as this one. I wonder what "Shutter" says about domestic violence. What does it say about revenge? Well, I'm not sure; but it's trying to say all the same things that the original already said. Therefore, this crap has been accomplished, and there was no need to remake this film and compel me to want to sit through it. They stack up the crap so high that I almost feel claustrophobic amongst it. That's just plain pathetic if you ask me.

Was "Shutter", as a horror movie, supposed to frighten me? If so, it did not do its job, but then again, neither do more than 50% of the horror films released these days. The American film industry is a disappointment overall, not financially, but it's evident that most genres are loosing their filmmakers. Where did madly brilliant directors such as Dario Argento run off to? Why have they left the crappy people to make new movies? I need my questions answered, because if they are not, then the horror genre will continue to get worse-and-worse as time goes on. "Shutter" is merely more of the same kind of unwatchable, generic crap that you see every weekend from the genre, and I'm sick of it. So let's rebel against films as bad as "Shutter". If not merely for horror movie, but it might just be worth it. I mean, it can't hurt to try and stop this uninspired madness. I hate it, and deep down, so do you. If it does not stop, then look at the bright side; at least we can continue to laugh at this unintentionally funny and silly stuff. So go on, avoid the remake of "Shutter", and watch a good horror film. I'm sure every year has at least one horror movie better than this one. This is not nearly as bad as you can get with the genre, but it's still pretty damn bad. "Shutter" has not shown me anything new in terms of how to screw up a remake, but in the end, does it really matter?

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March 29, 2011
I.hate.this.remake. Thanks for the review!
 
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More Shutter reviews
review by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
JUST YOUR AVERAGE AMERICAN REMAKE
      SHUTTER      This is another American remake of a film that was much better and came from another country. This time around it is based on the Thai film I do believe and much like the rest of the American remakes this one is not as good as the original. In fact if it was not for the ending this one would be really lacking because it just felt like, I don't know. I just did not get into this one as much as others and found it to be just your average …
review by . August 02, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Yes, I am well aware that "Shutter" is just one more ingredient in a seemingly endless Westernized stew of Asian horror remakes. I'm also aware that it features Joshua Jackson, one of the most boring actors to ever grace a screen. With that said, though, I have to admit that I enjoyed it.     Director Masayuki Ochiai takes the basic elements of Asian horror (lack of special effects, excellent use of lighting, downright creepy-looking people to portray ghosts) and utilizes them …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Wiki

Based on a 2004 Thai horror flick, this surprisingly effective Hollywood remake is actually set in Tokyo. That's where newlywed hubby Joshua Jackson has taken bride Rachael Taylor (Transformers) for an ill-advised honeymoon. They hit a woman standing in the middle of a spooky road, after which all sorts of ghosts seem to emerge from Jackson's camera (he's come to Japan for a fashion-photography gig). Can our plucky heroine, a fish out of water in a confusing city, find the answer to this haunted puzzle? Well, yes, but she won't like what she finds.Shutteris distinguished by director Mayasuki Ochiai's compositional eye, which favors the empty, creeped-out spaces in which ghosts might dwell. The movie also gets into the phenomenon of "spirit photography," which suggests that the dear departed make their presence known as white flashes in snapshots. That stuff's kind of fun; unfortunately, Ochiai's ear for dialogue is as clunky as his eye is sharp, and Jackson and Taylor are saddled with some truly unfortunate exposition. The actors don't leave much of an impression either, although Megumi Okina (leading lady ofJu-on: The Grudge) is sufficiently spooky as a woman who will not be ignored.--Robert Horton
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Details

Director: Masayuki Ochiai
DVD Release Date: July 15, 2008
Runtime: 85 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
First to Review

"Not Quite In Focus"
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