Shutter (US Remake 2008)

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Ok, it’s super cool to hate remakes these days, I know it, you know it, and while most of them do pretty much blow. I went out on a limb and hit the multiplex last night for a viewing of…

Brace yourself….

Masayuki Ochiai’s remake of Banjong Pisanthanakun’s Shutter. (Say that 5 times fast).

I normally would not go to a movie theater to see something like this, but my lady friend (who is scared to death of horror films), said SHE wanted to go to it, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to get cozy with her in the back row while she freaks out, (and possibly play the whole in the bottom of the popcorn bucket trick on her)…well the popcorn trick didn’t work, but anyone who isn’t used to this kind of film, will probably get jumpy a few times, if not down right creeped out…

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If you don’t already know the story…
A newly wed couple Ben & Jane Shaw (Joshua Jackson & Rachael Taylor) move to Tokyo for Ben’s oh so glamorous job as a high profile photographer. Shortly after they land, the couple is involved in a car accident in which Jane thinks that she has killed a creepy looking typical J-Horror girl who was out walking on the highway. After no body is found, the two hook up at their new digs provided by Ben’s boss; Bruno (David Denman…Roy from the office!) and Ben starts to shoot pics of a bunch of random “America’s next top model bullshit” stuff. All is well, except for a pain that Ben has been having in his neck since the accident, and the fact that every time Jane (or Ben) take photos of their new city, there happens to be a ghostly image of the girl from the highway-since Ben makes his living taking photographs, this is obviously a problem. After some silly ghost hunters type of bullshit, Jane discovers that Ben & his cronies (Bruno & the newly introduced Adam (John Hensley)) had known the ghost girl, when she wasn’t a ghost. After some interrogation on Ben via Jane, we find out the girl is someone Ben used to date when he lived in Tokyo before, and when they broke up she couldn’t handle it, has apparently died and is now stalking Ben & Jane in her ghostly form…Who ya gonna call? After the ghost chick (Megumi Tanaka) kills off Bruno & Adam, the Shaws find her dead body (she killed herself after Ben left Tokyo), have her cremated, and they think all is well…

It isn’t…

Megumi comes back to fuck with Ben & Jane some more, there is a revelation as to how things REALLY ended with Ben & Megumi and a happy ending does not follow.

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Now, it would be very easy to say this is just another shitty J-Horror remake staring a bunch of TV actors…and well…while the original wasn’t Japanese (it’s from Hong Kong), it more or less IS just another remake starring a bunch of TV actors, but “shitty”?…not really. In fact, I KIND OF liked it. Rachel Taylor is just as hot as she was in Transformers and steals the movie by far-sadly the sexy accent is gone though this time around… THEN there are the guys: Joshua Jackson (who these days looks like a pudgy Johnny Knoxville)… you just know that he isn’t the “good” guy he is pretending to be, and the duo of David Denman & John Hensley are obviously not “good” guys (and you’ll know thisfrom the moment they get on screen). Since Hensley has been in a few genre roles already, you can look at him and not see the creepy kid from Nip/Tuck, but as soon as Roy (Denman) from the office comes on screen, you can’t help but wonder if he still wants to kick Jim Halpert’s ass…that said, he handles the film fine-it is just hard to take him serious as an exec when you know his day job is hanging out with Patrice O’Neil & B.J. Novak.

I wouldn’t watch it again, but it wasn’t a complete waste of time…so if you wanna get someone who doesn’t like horror movies to watch this with you and scare him/her just enough to have them cuddle up in your lap, Shutter is probably the best there is out there…IF you just wanna scare the fuck out of them you could bust out some of Jackson’s other fodder like Cursed, Grey’s Anatomy or Dawson’s Creek.

ps. I saw the trailer for the Prom Night “remake” before Shutter…and…well…it looks about as scary as College Road Trip. Take that Osmond!

Charlie “Do they even have ice cream in Japan?” Brown

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~ by exploitnation on April 2, 2008.

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