Shutter (2008) - Unrated [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Horror
Fox || Unrated - 85 minutes - $39.98 || July 15, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-07-07


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Masayuki Ochiai
Writer(s): Luke Dawson (screenplay)
Cast: Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor


Theatrical Release Date: March 21, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • A Ghost in the Lens
  • A Cultural Divide: Shooting in Japan
  • The Director: Masayuki Ochiai
  • A Conversation with Luke Dawson
  • A History of Spirit Photography
  • Create Your Own Ghost Photo
  • The Hunt for the Haunt
  • FMC Presents: In Character with Joshua Jackson (BD Exclusive)
  • Japanese Spirit Photography Videos (BD Exclusive)
  • Alternate/Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (5.1 DTS-MA), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

From the Executive Producers of The Grudge and The Ring.

Read the above line? That right there should tell you all you need to know about this film. Shutter is a train wreck of a film that tries to be some many different films at once itís hard to really understand whatís going on half the time.

The film stars Joshua Jackson as Benjamin Shaw - an up and coming photography who has to relocate to Japan for the time being with his brand new wife Jane (Rachael Taylor). Before they go to Japan, they have a quick honeymoon where Jane accidentally runs over a woman in the road (or so she thinks...). The couple looks for a body to no avail and continues on with their honey moon and then their final destination: Japan.

While in Japan, Jane is left to wander the streets (much like Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation; which is probably the best part of this film as well) where she starts noticing the women she hit all around her. At the same time, Benjamin has started noticing white smears in all of the pictures he has taken, both from his honeymoon and his more recent photo shoot for clients. The couple must work together to solve the mystery of who this women is and what she wants.

Did any of that sound exciting to you? To be honest, the film could have been a lot better if they fleshed out the characters a bit more and added more real horror to film. As it stands, not a single person is even killed until the film reaches the one hour mark, and before that, they simply use the 'cat jumps from the closet unexpectedly' type of scares. While this may suitable for the audience that the original Shutter was derived from, in America, the audience simply wants none of that. We want gore, we want deaths. At least that's what the general public typically pays to see in theaters.

I really tried to like the film. I have enjoyed Joshua Jackson in many of the TV Shows and films he has starred in that have been less then well-received (ďDawson's CreekĒ, Urban Legends, Cursed); but even Kevin Williamson himself couldn't save this film. From start to finish the film barley delivers any true scares and for the most part itís something that seemed destined for a direct-to-DVD release. How this made it to theaters is beyond me.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All Special Features are presented in SD.

Feature Commentary (with Production Executive Alex Sundell, Screenwriter Luke Dawson and Actress Rachel Taylor) - Watching the film once was enough... but twice? If you really want to hurt yourself more than sitting through this commentary is almost as bad as the film itself. While Alex Sundell and Luke Dawson gives some interesting factoids about the film and production, itís Rachel Taylor who I really enjoyed.

A Ghost in the Lens (8:09) - Various cast and crew members discuss spiritual ghosts with half the running time being clips from the film.

A Cultural Divide: Shooting in Japan (9:21) - This discusses how great it was to shoot in Japan. It was pretty funny to see one of the stunt men wearing a wig and discussing how he normal dresses like women for stunt roles.

The Director: Masayuki Ochiai (9:32) - Oddly enough, this feature (which is obviously subtitled) is one of the most interesting pieces of the entire disc. The Director goes into how the film changed from its counterpart and other neat tidbits of information.

A Conversation with Luke Dawson (5:33) - Yet another feature that goes into the story of Shutter and it was transformed from its Thai counterpart.

A History of Spirit Photography (4:50) - A pretty interesting look at the start of "Spiritual" photography and how some people profited from these supposed "spirits".

Create Your Own Ghost Photo (4:00) - Shows you how to use Photoshop. Thanks, Fox!

The Hunt for the Haunt: Tools and Tips for Ghost Hunting (2:29) - This little feature gives would-be ghost hunters tools for how to find ghosts. Some include searching Google and asking around. Ugh. Itís just text with smoke in the background. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid!

Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Joshua Jackson (2:06) - Another small little feature that has Joshua Jackson re-iterate the plot for us again with clips from the film. Blu-Ray Exclusive **

Japanese Spirit Photography Videos (17:16) - A set of 3 different videos where people talk about spiritual photographs that have taken or been in. In one case, one guy claims that people started getting sick after taking the photo in a closed down hospital. Blu-Ray Exclusive **

Alternate/Deleted Scenes & Alternate Ending (27:18) - Fox has included 14 deleted/alternate scenes most of which add very little to the already crappy film. There are a few alternate scenes that I felt would have made the film just a bit more bearable the wedding and dinner scenes). The alternate ending is pretty much the same with the exception of an additional 10 seconds of footage.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Shutter is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 (AVC MPEG-4) on a 50GB Disc. While some scenes appeared to be razor sharp, others were laced with grain and artifacts. Itís hard to really say if it was a good transfer or not because it was so inconsistent and soft.

Fox has included a 5.1 DTS MA track as well as standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in Spanish and French. While the film may have sucked, the audio is really spectacular. Right from the start the bass starts and never quits. Screams are very loud and the DTS MA track produces an excellent dynamic range. The only nitpick I have is a few times the dialog appeared to be a bit tinny.



.::OVERALL::.

If you liked (or could at least stand) the American version of Pulse, then Shutter is for you. Otherwise the plot is very thin and the scares only happen towards the end of the film. Fox has provided a decent picture and outstanding sound with a mixed bag of SD extras that make this title strictly a rental for the normal horror fans... if even that.