On Second Thought: “Shutter (2008)”

The Asian horror remake craze that occurred in the United States wasn’t just limited to Japanese films. Sadly Hollywood dragged in Thai films, as if what was already being done wasn’t bad enough. How do you mess up even more on a film, when the expectations weren’t that high to begin with? The bar is so low in fact, that this film should’ve been a winner. Guess the creatives involved should’ve seen what came before and taken notes on what not to do.

The 20th Century Fox film “Shutter”, is about as sad and lazy as these Asian horror remakes come.

This “horror” film stars Joshua Jackson (upcoming season “The Affair”, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Rachael Taylor (upcoming “Gold”, “Luke Cage”), Megumi Okina (“Isan Sozoku Bengoshi Kakizaki Shin’ichi”, “Yoshiwara Uradoshin”), David Denman (“Outcast”, “Angel from Hell”), John Hensley (“Mall”, “The Mentalist”), Maya Hazen (“The Other Hef”, “Revenge”), and James Kyson Lee (“Animals”, “Adventure Time”).

The film was directed by Masayuki Ochiai (“Gu.Ra.Me! – Sori no Ryoriban”, “Saigo no Okurimono”) and written by Luke Dawson (“The Lazarus Effect”, “New York Stories (Short 2003)”).

The film originally opened on March 21, 2008.

Continuing my unintentional series of talking about Asian horror remakes, we’ve come to another 2008 film, which is surprisingly much worse. “One Missed Call, for all of it’s problems, managed at least to create a creepy atmosphere. That having been said, I’m hoping I said that in the post I wrote about it, but certainly seems true when compared to this film. Fun fact, I learned that I wrote about “One Missed Call” exactly a month ago. WOW! I didn’t plan it. Anyway. I’m just amazed that with so much time between all of these films, either 10 years or almost that long, and I’m not liking them nearly as much as I did before. Not even close. If it weren’t for some little things that make the film’s watchable, I’d probably donate these films to one of the many local thrift stores I have near me, and let others suffer through them. For now, for those of you who choose to read this, I’ll let you suffer. I had to suffer watching it and now writing about it, so why shouldn’t you?

Oh god. There’s nothing good to say about this film. Not really. Nothing I’m willing to jump up and down about. The most decent thing about this film was the acting. It was what it needed to be. Good enough and enjoyable. That’s it. The characters each actor helped to bring to life weren’t at all memorable. Stick any other Asian horror remake character into this film and it’s still going to work. God that was terrible too. I’m sure you get my meaning, not that it’s that difficult to see. Anyway, while I was bored overall, I never hated watching Taylor, Jackson or any of the other less interesting actors. They were just too dull to care about what happened to them. That fact is just sad when you look at horror, which has always had a problem with giving you character’s who come close to resembling anything that looks human.

I did think of one other positive thing! What?! I know! The actors. I actually was excited about who I saw was in this. Somehow I managed to forget. That alone must’ve been what initially drew me in eight years ago. Taylor, Jackson, Denman, and Lee did again, but then I watched the film, regretted my choice, and wanted to cry.

Speaking of crying. This film sucks. Okay, I’ve officially said it. It sucks. It’s not remotely scary, doesn’t have the atmosphere needed to even be slightly creepy, and when you look at all of these other sub-genre horror films, is very paint by numbers. However, in this case, the final outcome seems to be far worse than any of the other bad remakes in this genre.

It’s because of all of these things, and maybe other smaller bits that make up any given moment in the film, and allow for the film to exist at all, that I was bored. I wasn’t interested in the way I was hoping to be. It was just dull. Tedious even. Somehow I was focused enough, but I don’t find that it’s because the story at all drew me in and gave me any real reason to give a shit. I will never understand why I chose to keep watching it. I do find that if I had made the deliberate decision to keep up with this unintentional series, I could’ve stopped watching and still written about how I stopped watching.

While some Asian horror remakes can be somewhat entertaining, this one can’t come close to that at all. It’s a painful exercise in how wrong Hollywood was with these types of films, and still largely is when it comes to remakes overall. There’s a certain low level expectation of most mainstream horror films, which a lot of people are willing to overlook for a spell, but when that bar can’t even be met, there’s a brand new problem that needs to be overcome. Sometimes a horror film just needs to be mindless and enjoyable, as that’s what is traditionally offered in the first place.


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