What's the first thing you do when you see a mediocre foreign film? Well, if your a struggling Japanese director with a history of making barely palatable low-budget horror films, you think "remake."
And that's just what Masayuki Ochiai did after viewing Thai supernatural horror film Shutter. The movie revolves around photographs---the old school, 8x10, darkroom developed kind. As you may have guessed, these are no normal photographs. They are haunted photographs---portals to the dark, demented world of the undead. Naturally, the plot is supported by the pillars of any good drama: sex, murder, and revenge.
Lacking in creativity or afraid to taint a sufficiently mediocre story line Ochiai didn't change a thing---just the actors. He even kept the Shutter name. Here's a teaser of the plot per IMDB:
A newly married couple discovers disturbing, ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Fearing the manifestations may be connected, they investigate and learn that some mysteries are better left unsolved
Almost as spooky as Joshua Jackson's half-hearted attempt to revamp his acting career after experiencing modest success from Disney's Mighty Ducks series.
The film has plenty of Polaroids and red-light darkroom scenes where surprising things appear in pictures as they slowly develop. You can almost smell the fixer through the screen. As critical as I've been thus far and despite its 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie isn't terrible and may be a worthwhile watch as long as you don't set your expectations too high.
On a more interesting note, the idea that ghosts or spirits could be captured on film is not a new concept. It's been around since the early days and even has a name: SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY. Rather than dive into spirit photography in this post, I'll be taking a deeper look into this interesting phenomena in an upcoming "What I'm Reading" post
Until then, keep those Polaroids locked away somewhere safe. You never know what---or who might be waiting inside.