Jump scares may be cheap, and often times they only serve to cheapen the experience of a given film. It’s always a pleasant surprise when you come across an exception to that rule. In the case of Shutter, it was both a pleasant surprise and at times an absolutely fucking terrifying experience. What is actually a pretty straight-forward story is executed with amazing precision and gives the film a brilliant intensity. When combined with absolutely chilling makeup effects and a creepy score, all of that adds up to a great horror movie. It also is now responsible for my not wanting to take a picture of anything. Ever.
After partying with friends one night, Tun, a photographer, and his girlfriend Jane get into a car accident. They hit a young woman walking in the street, and in a moment of panic, Tun drives off leaving the girl lying in the road. After some time, while developing pictures, Tun begins to notice that many of his photos have mysterious white shadows that appear to have faces in them. Jane begins to suspect they may be the images of the girl they hit and left for dead. Tun isn’t quite so convinced of this despite the fact that his friends are also being haunted by the scary figure haunting him.
Now, about that scary figure. Feast your eyes, and then tremble in horror:
The makeup effects are fantastic and in addition to looking frighteningly scary, she’s got a penchant for impeccable jump-scare timing and oh yeah, she’s like a female Spider-Man, a not-so-friendly-neighborhood version.
This film has a way of getting under your skin despite the simplicity of it’s premise. The appearance of the ghostly girl may not even be all that different from something you’ve seen before, but there is something to the way this film is executed that really make the ‘actions have consequences’ plot points work.
Now, the plot of Shutter may sound vaguely familiar for some. That’s because, like so many of the great Asian horror films of the previous decade, it’s been remade here in America. I haven’t seen the remake so I can’t attest to it’s quality, but it sounds almost like a carbon copy of the original so if I had to bet money on it, I’m guessing the remake doesn’t stand up to the original. The original Shutter is available from Netflix if you’d like to check it out. It’s well worth it to seek out, especially if you’ve got an affinity for Asian horror films.