Throughout both J- and A-horror, technology plays a role in connecting us with the dead -- whether it be something as complex as a cell phone or as simple as a camera. Shutter depends on the latter to carry its tale of a Y?rei (the traditional tortured Japanese spirit with a pale complexion and dark hair) haunting a newlywed couple on their honeymoon in Japan. Of course, the spirit is rooted in the past and Jane begins to investigate her new husband Ben's earlier years. But just like every other American remake of Eastern horror, the subtext is lost in translation -- turning the Y?rei into a horror gimmick rather than the thematic embodiment of a disillusioned soul. Whereas the spirits terrified in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Pulse (2001) due to their desperation in death, their American counterpart in films the likes of Shutter do nothing but skulk around, making creepy noises and staring endlessly.
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Decked out with odes to the 1950s bargain-basement sci-fi films that Lichtenstein grew up on, Teeth tells the delightful yarn of a teenaged girl named Dawn (Jess Weixler) and her shark-tooth-lined vagina. (The press kit, and one seriously unlucky gynecologist, is quick to point out that the Latin term is actually vagina dentate.) Bopping back and forth from churches and schools, Dawn spends her time as an abstinence-is-rockin' faith promoter. After a speech, she meets Tobey (Hale Appleman), and the purity sparks fly. Their idea of a fun date includes a wild night of popcorn and the latest animated feature at the multiplex.
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Dad's lost his job, too, and both his parents think he's gay (thanks to what turns out to be the movie's funniest single moment), so Darren scrambles back to the dorms to figure out how to raise another $1000 so he can stay in school. (Naturally, he's also in love with another resident named Gracie (Kristen Bell), but he can't profess him affections to her.)
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