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DVD Review: Shutter (Unrated Edition)


And here we have yet another horror flick that was obviously influenced by some asian movie. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that it was a bad movie... okay, yeah, it was bad. It wasn't horrifying or creepy or suspenseful or scary, not even in the slightest. And it's not like I had high expectations or anything. I actually had pretty low expectations considering how American remakes of asian horror films usually don't turn out very well. And still I was disappointed. There was just too much wrong with this movie, from the simplistic plot to the unsympathetic main characters to the rather bland atmosphere of the whole film.

The story starts with a newlywed couple that are leaving their home in America so hubby can work as I high-priced photographer in Japan with at a firm run by his buddies, Adam and Bruno. We, the audience, are immediately suspicious of these two clowns, as is Ben's new bride, Jane. She might not saying anything about them, but we definitely do... something like "I hope they die first". Anyway, so the happy couple is in Japan driving to there honeymoon local, and it's dark and wet and she's driving and now she's looking at the map while she's speeding along and all we can so is roll our eyes and mumble something about stupid people while we wait for the crash.

The crash comes in the form of car versus ghost girl, as when she looks up from the map she spies a girl in her nightgown standing in the middle of the road and BAM smacks right into her, causing the car to fly off the road and into a tree. Now, we know this girl is a ghost, but Jane just thinks she was just a normal pale girl out in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the road in the rain in only her nightgown. Of course, neither Jane nor Ben nor any of the police force that came out to handle the accident can find this ghost girl, and everyone thinks Jane might have just been seeing things, but Jane won't be deterred.

That's something I just don't get. It was late, she was tired, it was dark, and she only caught a glimpse of the figure for like less than a second and yet she's absolutely positively sure without any doubt that it was a girl she hit. I have never been that sure about anything in my life. If someone asks me my age, and I tell them, and they say "really?", I HAVE TO ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT IT TO MAKE SURE! Anyway, so it was her fault that she hit this girl, and now she's so insistent and whiny about her confidence of what she caught a glimpse of that I no longer have any sympathy for this character. I'm now hoping she'll die quickly, but know it's not gonna happen and I'm going to be spending the rest of the movie watching her try to find this mystery girl (though she doesn't know it yet).

What prompts her to pick up the search is that she sees white streaks of light in photographs taken by her husband. I say it's probably a broken camera, but she sees the face of this ghost girl (whom she only caught a very brief glimpse of... I've met people at parties that I didn't recognize the next day). So she goes to some expert on ghost photography (luckily he lives in driving distance), and eventually convinces Ben to go as well, and when he says something in Japanese Ben freaks out and takes off telling Jane that the guy is crazy. We know that it's one line which was said earlier in the movie, indicating that the ghost girl is actually Ben's ex-girlfriend or lover or whatever. But it doesn't matter much, as Ben is kinda a jerk and we don't really give a crap about him.

Eventually the whole backstory is revealed, and it's similar to what we were guessing up to that point. Although it'll probably be pretty obvious to you as well, I won't give it away. Oh, but I do want to mention one unintentioally hilarous scene when Ben takes a picture of himself and sees the ghost sitting on his shoulders and he goes into this fit tyring to grab the ghost of his back and throw her to the ground. That definitely put a smile on my face, though it was at the same my head was shaking and my eyes were rolling at how dumb this was.

The DVD has a bunch of extra features, including commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending, but none are anything special. The alternate ending is very similar to the one in the movie, and all of the deleted scenes deserved to hit the cutting room floor. I haven't listened to the commentary yet, and to be honest I probably won't.

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