Shutter

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Starring Rachael Taylor and Joshua Jackson. Rated 14A.

Hollywood’s habit of churning out crappy remakes of Asian horror flicks continues unabated with Shutter, which attempts to do for cameras what The Ring did for videocassettes, what Pulse did for computers, and what The Grudge did for grudges.

Nicole Kidman knockoff Rachael Taylor and Dawson's Creek’s bland Joshua Jackson star as the just-married Jane and Benjamin, who head directly over to Japan after tying the knot. He’s a hotshot photographer whose buddy has landed him a lucrative fashion assignment and set him up with a huge studio and apartment smack dab in the middle of Tokyo. But while travelling on a dark, deserted road, their SUV plows into a young Japanese woman who steps out of nowhere. The car plunges into a ditch and smashes into a tree, and even though its air bags don’t deploy, the picture-perfect newlyweds escape the wreckage with nary a scratch.

When they check the road, there’s no trace of the woman they seemingly smucked, so the couple just continues on to Tokyo. But once they get there, most of the photos they take are marred by ghostly images of the apparent accident victim. Ben’s hot pants–wearing Japanese assistant just happens to have an ex-boyfriend into “spirit photography” who claims that the blurry images are visual manifestations of powerful emotions (like vengeance, maybe).

The rest of the movie revolves around repeated sightings of the ghostly chick. She stares icily at Jane from a window’s reflection; she straddles Ben on his bed and takes her shirt off. Never is her appearance slightly scary or remotely interesting. Sadly, this remake of a Thai film by a Japanese director with an American cast is exactly the type of supernatural hogwash that Hollywood has been hooked on for too long.

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