I don’t feel like talking about “Shutter,” which is this week’s bad remake of an Asian horror film, so instead I’m going to tell you why critics won’t like it but regular audiences will.
The primary reason for the frequent disconnect between critics and moviegoers is simply that critics see a lot more movies. That’s it. It’s not that critics are snotty (though some are), or that general consumers are uncultured morons (though some are). It’s just that the more movies you watch, the more likely it is that what you’re seeing will resemble something you’ve seen before and will thus fail to impress you.
In this case, every single element of “Shutter” feels ripped off from “The Ring,” “The Grudge,” “Dark Water,” “Pulse,” “The Eye,” and “One Missed Call” (to name the first six that come to mind). It’s about an American couple (Joshua Jackson and Rachael Taylor) living in Tokyo, where they notice weird light flares in their photographs and soon start seeing the ghost of a pasty-faced, stringy-haired Japanese waif everywhere. The spirit is vengeful. There are lots of jump-scares, where you’re startled by something happening suddenly and accompanied by a loud sting on the soundtrack. There are weird, unexplained phenomena that are “creepy” but illogical.
To me, “Shutter” is the epitome of gutless, derivative hack work. But then again, I’ve seen all those movies I mentioned, plus some of their original Asian versions. If you haven’t seen them — or any of the other recent lukewarm PG-13 thrillers like “The Ring Two,” “The Grudge 2,” “The Messengers,” “Stay Alive,” “Darkness Falls,” “The Fog,” or “An American Haunting” — then all of this will seem new to you, and you may well find “Shutter” to be tense and scary like it’s supposed to be.
If you’ve seen even one of them, though, this is all gonna seem like reheated leftovers. The time I’ve spent watching it and writing these 332 words about it far exceeds the attention it deserves.
D (1 hr., 25 min.; )