Mar 26, 2008 at 12:00 am
Shutter, Japanese director Masayuki Ochiai’s American debut, isn’t — surprise! — a remake of a Japanese horror flick. It’s a remake of a Thai horror flick, which has already been remade in India, but because we Americans like our starlets blond and English-speaking, here it is again.

This particular blonde, Rachael Taylor, is simply not up to the job — nor is her on-screen counterpart Joshua Jackson. The story: Newlyweds Ben and Jane Shaw (Jackson and Taylor) move to Japan for Ben’s new photography job, but on their honeymoon accidentally hit a woman (Megumi Okina) with their car. She subsequently appears in many of Ben’s photos — alternately as herself, a dash of light and a moving image — and proceeds to haunt the couple relentlessly. From scene one there isn’t a subtle moment here — from blatant foreshadowing with flash photography, to hackneyed fighting-couple dialogue, to crusty horror standbys of flickering lights and off-screen whispers. Shutter also proceeds to lift shamelessly from its peers, including What Lies Beneath and The Grudge. But, for all its imperfections, Shutter does one thing undoubtedly well: It scares the crap out of you.