Shutter, the latest in the ongoing stream of cheap horror movies, stars "Dawson's Creek's" Joshua Jackson and Transformers' Rachael Taylor as a newly married couple who move to Japan and find themselves haunted by a deadly ghost.
The plot of Shutter really isn't important, as it continues in the vein of other similar horror films - specifically Japanese remakes - only with a slightly different trimming. Essentially, the approach director Masayuki Ochiai takes is to copy what has been done before and make it even more predictable and inane. After all, to do horror movies these days, all you have to do is have your characters catch some glimpses of dead Japanese people and establish a plot where the ghost is attemptingt to get revenge for some wrong done to her in the past.
In all fairness, Shutter isn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. It has a twist I wasn't really expecting (whether I cared is another matter) and Taylor is pleasant to look at. Nevertheless, the movie is just a blatant rip-off of a genre that ran dry shortly after The Ring made it to theaters, and no matter how attractive the lead actress is, she's not enough to save this film from unoriginality. Furthermore, as one might suspect, Shutter isn't remotely scary, as Ochiai relies on turn-your-head-and-see-a-ghost techniques that have been used so many times I almost see ghosts in real life.
Compared to some movies from the Japanese horror remake genre (I'm not sure if Shutter is a remake, but it sure feels like it), Shutter is at least watchable, but it won't scare you and it won't really surprise you, despite Ochiai's cheap attempts to do so. In other words: don't waste your time on Shutter.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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