By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
I don't even know if Shutter is a remake of another Japanese horror film, but it might as well be. It's exactly like all the other ones. This time it's spirits in pictures, instead of spirits in the water or spirits in the wires. Whatever.
I already don't care about this marriage that opens the film. So they're a young couple in the throws of passion and quick career moves. That's not even the bare minimum to establish any kind of connection. They have to have personalities.
Then they're not watching the road and reading the map. Guess what happens? Yeah, that's how effective all the scares are. They don't even really play the "nobody believes her" card because crazy stuff starts happening to everyone.
The dialogue sounds like it was written in Japanese and translated literally. Characters basically say, "This is what I think happened." "We are doing the thing that we must do in order to learn the information." "This is how I know about what's happening."
There's a PG-13 love scene which I only mention because it's so clear that it is not any issue of style. Any suggestive or revealing shot is omitted simply because of no nudity clauses. There's no attention paid to actually making it sensual.
Of course people start to have visions appear and then disappear as if to make them wonder if they're really seeing things at all. They have to have lives for any of this to impact us. The guy is just some photographer on assignment to shoot some models and she's just a newlywed bride.
Suddenly they have personal issues as if that makes them characters. "Blah blah blah backstory. Blah blah blah connections." Can no one think of a different reason for ghosts to haunt people? It's always some mystery about someone's secret.
These are some pretty uncreative ghosts too. So they make blood appear or they insert themselves into photographs? The ending actually resolves this in a slightly visually interesting way but way too little way too late.
Flashing frames in the dark isn't even an interesting shot. Come on. And that's all I've got. The movie is just a collection of things that happen, so my review is too.