America has grown fond of remaking Japanese horror movies a mere years after their release in their own country and if there’s one thing I can say for them it’s that they’re not getting worse. Off the top of my head I’m going to start the trend with The Ring and after that became a huge success you started getting The Grudge, The Grudge 2, The Ring 2, One Missed Call, and Shutter. I’m sure I’m missing many but the ones named will serve my point. Now after The Ring which I absolutely adored, the movies shot downhill. The Grudge was horrible and after that none of the movies raised the bar. None of them ever really got worse than the last but the only reason for that is that all of them have followed the exact same formula as the last. They all must have a scary Japanese girl with long black hair, they all must have some foreboding imagery (photographs, telephone calls, VCR’s), and disturbing scenes. Shutter does not break this tradition.
The film stars Joshua Jackson and Rachel Taylor who previously had starred in Transformers and tells the story of their life as newlyweds who start being followed by a mysterious spirit that begins appearing in all of their photographs. This girl appears to be the same girl that they ran over a while after their wedding and she seems to want revenge. Now the plot is very thin, even for one of ‘these’ movies, and the acting for the most part falls flat. However, what really gets me about this movie is how completely they seem to rip off The Ring.
Now I’ve mentioned before that all of these movies follow a similar… ok an exact formula, but this just takes it to a whole other level. The actress is made to look almost exactly like Naomi Watts in the Ring but that can be passed as coincidental, what can’t be passed is this; Remember the scene in The Ring where Rachel walks up to the dead guy in the chair after Samara has killed him? His back is turned to Rachel, there’s a huge puddle of water on the floor near him, and she slowly walks up to him and reaches for his shoulder. Well it’s as if the director felt he could pull this off as well by placing everything in the exact same place in Shutter and just switching the actors. The scene was such a rip off that you could somehow consider it an homage as a defense, but not a good one.
The film has very few scares scattered throughout it’s runtime and I found myself checking my watch constantly and groaning that I had only sat through forty five minutes when it felt like two hours had passed, even for a remake this is a horrible sign. The film drags forever and moves at a glacial pace to lead up to a dull, predictable, and laughable ending. Of course we get some deaths along the way but nothing really interesting, and nothing that hasn’t been done before. I found myself bored to death the entire time and found nearly no enjoyment in watching this movie. In fact if anything it made me want to go home and watch The Ring. This movie was a complete disappointment just like all the other movies of it’s kind and I give it a resounding 1.5/5