Shutter (2008)

Japanese/American remake of an original Thai horror/thriller movie.  The important part, I think, is that the director in this case is Japanese (Masayuki Ochiai) – I think it’s been pretty well demonstrated, over the years, that they have a magic touch when it comes to creeping the shit out of cinema goers.

Remember Ringu?  That was some scary stuff right there, and what was it?  Just a girl with long hair being played backwards.  Or The Grudge, which this movie probably should be compared to (or The Ring I guess, but I never bothered watching it after enjoying the original Ringu so pants-pissingly much), a kid with a black mouth screeching like a cat.  And terrrrrrrifying.

Well, here we have the same thing again, Americans in Japan being harassed by scary as hell Japanese ghosts – visible, usually, only in photos.  So how scary is it to take a Polaroid, and seconds later see a terrifying ghoul, in the same room as you’re in?  I’ll give you a hint: really scary.  (Though the movie isn’t as scary as Ringu.)

I don’t want to give too much away here, but let’s just say that the leading man (Joshua Jackson) is a photographer, and the leading lady (Rachel Taylor) – his new wife, they’re on their honeymoon – likes to… take photos with a digital camera.  Oh, it turns out that the ghouls loooooovvee CCD sensors as much as they like film negatives.


The teensy little blonde sitting beside me certainly seemed to like it, if all the squeels and shifting around in her seat where anything to go by.  This leads me to think it would probably make a good date movie.  (In as much as any movie can be a good date movie.  I don’t think movies are a good date idea – you can’t talk to and get to know a person in a movie, so what’s the point?  Maybe date number 3 or 4 or 5 – of if you’re just trying out how it feels to ‘go out with’ someone you’ve known in other contexts for a while.)

The movie ends reasonably gently (well, gently for us, not so gently for folk in the movie) by telling you, more or less, how you can avoid being harassed by these terrifying ghosts, so you won’t be followed in the shadows by scary little ghouls infesting your thoughts when you leave the theatre, so if you’re of a fragile disposition, this one is probably safe for you – no worries about something being in the bathroom, behind the door.  Dear god, don’t go and look.  Just get out of the house.  That creaking noise you just half heard?  Leave.  Now.  Run.