After seeing “Shutter,” yet another Asian horror remake, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Why aren’t there more montages in horror flicks to skip all the unnecessary schlock?” Then it occurred to me: without it, there would be no movie at all – just a crappy montage.

“Shutter” is as full of plot holes and cheap thrills as any mediocre movie you’re likely to see. Immediately and clumsily the audience is hurled into the plot with Jane (Rachael Taylor, “Transformers”) and her photographer husband Ben (Joshua Jackson, “Bobby”). The two are newlyweds in Japan who crash their rental car, ostensibly hitting a mysterious young woman in the process. When they come to, however, she is gone. Heard this one before?

Jane and Ben soon reach their destination of Tokyo, where Ben reunites with old pals and takes on a photography job. Traumatized beyond consolation, Jane is sure that she killed a woman, though Ben is quick to dismiss her antics as overly dramatic. A series of photographs that turn up with white, wispy blemishes lead Jane to inquire about the Japanese fascination with “spirit photos,” pictures where ghosts loom translucently in the frame.

The idea is that the woman Jane and Ben struck with the car is haunting them through their pictures. It seems the conflict’s only link to photography is meant to echo the original film, though here its implementation is flimsy and anticlimactic. At the film’s end, there is an attempt at moral preaching, but the only commandment to take heed of is this: Don’t see this movie.

1 Star


At Quality 16 and Showcase

20th Century Fox

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