A young photographer Thun and his girlfriend Jane discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after fleeing the sceen of an accident. As they investigate the phenomenon, they find other photographs contain similar supernatural images, that Thun's best friends are being haunted as well, and Jane discovers that her boyfriend has not told her everything. It soon becomes clear that you can not escape your past.
If you don't count The Eye (as it was joint-funded), I can count the number of decent Thai horror flicks on the fingers of no hands. But the local film industry is clearly one hurtling into a boom period, courtesy of the likes of Ong Bak and now, perhaps working on the theory that you crush enough shit you get a diamond, comes Shutter, an honest-to-goodness quality Thai horror movie. What next? A great German comedy?
No, I don't think so, either.
Jane loved Tun, but his oral sex technique left a bit to be desired
Shutter opens with young photographer Tun and his girlfriend Jane driving home one night and before you can say, "Don't let a woman drive, didn't Thelma & Louise teach you anything?" they've run smack bang into some chick wandering into the road. One somersault with an inward pike later, and she's lying facedown on the tarmac as lifeless as Madonna's acting career.
Not only did the goth chick avoid the sun, but she always pushed in during class photos
The couple flee the scene, but start to regret their decision when every photo Tun starts to take comes back from the photo lab with mysterious white marks on them. And not just on his intimate bedroom shots this time. Then the marks start looking like an oddly familiar woman. She pops up in every shot like those annoying kids who wave behind any sportsman being interviewed on TV. You half-expect to see her ghostly visage holding up a sign saying, 'HI KEV & DEB IN TAIHAPE!'.
Tun and Jane are naturally terrified, because the girl appears all pale, expressionless and wide-eyed. Which seems pretty much exactly like anyone's passport photo. Nevertheless, things quickly get worse when Tun's friends start committing suicide, one by one...
Jane tried to respect Tun's beliefs - but the daily prayer to Frank, the God of Kitchen Tile was a bit much
On first look, Shutter looks like a bog-standard Asian horror flick with a long haired ghost who lurks in the corners of the frame until it is her time for a SUDDEN FUCKING CLOSE UP WITH LOUD NOISE ACCOMPANIMENT. And to be fair, it does hammer this cliche a fair bit - possibly setting some kind of record for jump scenes with its very JuOn-esque villainess.
Attendance was much better than expected at the Billy Ray Cyrus comeback gig
But the big strength is a well-written script. The plot unfurls at a nice pace, shifting focus steadily on the audience. If the characters are undercooked, that is scant criticism against such a nicely drawn story that still leaves plenty of room for scares - there's no derailing of the horror aspects as in films like The Eye. It may not be a classic in the league of Kairo or A Tale of Two Sisters, but just as Asian horror seemed to have died off in the past two years, Thailand comes to the party with a little gem of a movie. Check it out. Go on, now. I said now, you lazy fuck.
Haha! Yeah, all the Thai horror flicks I've seen have been utterly shite. I was *really* cautious approaching this one as a result, but it's a pleasant surprise.
As for the insect...not sure it has any relevance? Maybe it's a mantis, that eats its consort after mating? That's as far as I can stretch it, haha. Most likely, they were just stoked it sat there long enough for them to film it and thought it looked cool.
They called it a grasshopper but it was a praying mantis. I did love the shot of it on the plant while they were driving and how it turned its head to look at them as they got close. I thought the scene where she was watching them on tv was a bit of foreshadowing, about who the ghost was and what she was after.
I FINALLY got around to seeing this (I've had it on my computer for months now).
It totally kicked. The film caught my ass off guard quite a few times,causing me to jump out of my chair...the storyline,wihle simple at first,grows and becomes more complex with all kinds of twists and turns coming out of the woodwork. Just when you think you've got the movie figured out,it throws another curveball at you. The parallels in the film (the mantis...Tun's neck pain) are all very well done and the movie's last frames are something to behold.
The only thing I really didn't like about it is the fact that the whole Asian ghost thing has been done to death. There were quite a few moments in the film that blatently reeked of Ju-On and Ring. However,the film's story had enough originality to keep me interested and engaged all the way through. HIGHLY recommended.