Thursday, 18 June 2009

Film Review: SHUTTER (2008)

Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Running time: 86 mins (approx)

Watched on Sky+ Thursday 18th June 2009.

This film is a remake of the 2004 Thai-horror, also called “Shutter”. I have not seen the original and so I’ll judge this version on its own merits. It’s a ghost story set in Japan with a bit of a twist at the end.

We begin with the marriage of Ben and Jane Shaw in New York. Ben is a photographer and has a contract in Tokyo, where he has worked before, soon after the wedding. They have a few days before Ben has to start work so they head out to a retreat near Mount Fuji. On the way they are involved in an accident. They skid off a country lane when Jane sees the figure of a young woman in the middle of the road. They later find ghostly images in the photos they had taken at Mount Fuji. I will say no more about the plot as I don’t want to put too many spoilers in here.

Very well shot, I particularly liked the use of photo-flashes in one scene and great use of incidental music to build the tension. Competent performances from the main actors, Joshua Jackson (from the TV show "Fringe") as Ben and Rachael Taylor
(from Transformers and Deception) as Jane, although I thought they were a little underused. Honourable mentions go to the supporting cast, David Denman as Bruno, John Hensley as Adam, Maya Hazen as Seiko Nakamura and James Kyson Lee (of TV’s "Heroes" fame) as Ritsuo.

The running time of 86 minutes I found about right for a film of this type, any longer and I would have been looking at my watch. Over all, a reasonable effort although, like I find with a lot of these remakes of Oriental or Far-Eastern films, it seemed to lack a certain something, it all seemed a bit bleak…

My score: 5/10

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