25 July 2008
Shutter, dir. Masayuki Ochiai (2008)
Oh man. We knew it was going to suck. So, we have no one to blame. But, you know, it didn't suck as much as it could have. There are so many Asian-horror remakes around that star teen TV stars from the '90s, and for one to stand out as not totally lame is really pretty good. This one wanted to be smarter than The Grudge remakes and The Eye, and it really showed. It's just a pity it didn't come together. The chick in it acted her heart out, and I think her intensity was one of the main reasons I felt it was almost very nearly a sort of okay movie.
The scares were better, as in, not so CGI. But the end was a dead giveaway from the start. Why else is scary-faced kid from Nip/Tuck even in the thing? But ... meh. And who still uses film anyway? So much film-use in this movie ...
Yeah, it was lame. But something was different.
This wasn't like The Ring or The Eye or The Grudge or Pulse or Premonition or any of the other myriad remakes of Asian horror flicks in the cineplexes these days. I'd like to say it was because I hadn't seen the original, as we had with The Eye and The Grudge and The Ring, and therefore had nothing to compare it to, but I hadn't seen the original Pulse or Premonition before we watched those remakes, and both bored me up the wall regardless.
Something about Shutter seemed... earnest. Someone was trying their damnedest to make a scary movie here, and - though failing on many, many levels - it shows. The performances by Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor were honest, real. While much of the plot was pretty standard, we could overlook it because these characters weren't just plodding their way through the paint-by-numbers script like Sarah Michelle Gellar, Naomi Watts and Sandra Bullock before them.
I want to shun all Asian horror remakes, but when something like this comes along, something that raises the bar, even slightly, I know I'll end up seeing the remake of A Tale of Two Sisters when it's released next year as The Uninvited. Maybe someday they'll get it right.