The horror genre has imploded. Wrought with remakes, horror is being strangled to death by a lack of creativity on the filmmakers' part and interest on ours. Having run out of worth-while Japanese horror (J-horror) and trampled on American classics, Hollywood has now turned to remaking other Asian horror (A-horror) flicks; the early quarter of the year brought a remake of The Eye (2002) and a redo of Takashi Miike's fantastic One Missed Call (2003). The latest in the downward spiral of remakes is of the forgettable Shutter.
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.
Continue reading: Shutter Review