“Jane? You’re early”
Shutter is a Thai horror film from 2004. It’s also one of the best ghost stories you will ever see. Shutter easily stands up alongside the best ghost films the Japanese film industry has produced. Writer/directors Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom have created something special with Shutter.
After spending the evening drinking with friends, Tun & Jane are involved in a car accident when Jane hits a woman on the road. Tun insists they don’t stop & they leave the woman lying in the road. Tun is a professional photographer & begins to notice strange white shadows in his pictures & what also resembles ghostly faces. Jane begins to suspect these may be the ghost of the girl they hit on the road. Tun visits a doctor because he has been experiencing uncomfortable neck pain. While at the doctors he is weighed by a nurse & shocked to find he has gained a considerable amount of weight. As he is leaving he hears a voice calling him a liar. Tun’s friends begin to admit to being haunted by a ghostly girl. Jane decides to investigate & discovers the girl in the photos is a girl called Natre who went to college with Tun. Jane confronts Tun & he admits to having a relationship with Natre. Tun’s friends begin to commit suicide & slowly Jane begins to unravel the shocking truth about Tun & Natre.
The Thai horror film industry is certainly gaining momentum. Art Of The Devil & its sequels, Silk & Ghost Of Mae Nak are all good movies but Shutter stands out as the cream of the crop. Shutter is a film that truly captures a creepy & atmospheric tone that most so-called scary movies never get close to. In my opinion this movie far outstrips the likes of Ringu & Dark Water. Possibly only Noroi & A Tale Of Two Sisters can match the slow burning intensity of mood that Shutter creates. The acting is first-rate & the film’s pacing is near perfect. Shutter isn’t a film that relies heavily on special effects, its strength lies in its atmosphere & mood. The soundtrack especially enhances the air of unease that prevails throughout the movie. There are some truly outstanding scenes in this movie, none more so than one involving Tun in his darkroom becoming aware of someone being in the room with him. The movie’s conclusion is stunning & the imagery will remain in your head long after the movie has finished. The movie does have one weakness, as it is central to the movie’s mystery I cannot really go into any great detail. All I can say is that the shame felt by one character should have been felt by the many, if you see this film you will understand my last statement. It is a minor quibble but due to its importance to the movie it could be seen as being detrimental to the film’s effectiveness. Sadly the movie has already been remade by Hollywood & the result is dreadful. It never ceases to amaze me that even with the template of perfectly made originals, 9 times out of 10 Hollywood will completely foul up any remake.
Shutter is a wonderful movie that if you haven’t yet seen you really need to. It’s a perfect introduction to Thai horror movies & a wonderfully creepy film. Highly recommended.