Friday, March 21, 2008

Shutter - To See or Not to See

I'm still working through the multitude of Asian horror films that are out there and I thought, with the American remake now out in theaters, that this would be a good time to talk about Shutter.

It's a Thai film about a couple, Tun and Jane, who are about to be plagued by a very angry ghost. While driving home after a night of drinking, the couple are involved in a hit-and-run accident. Of course, they are the ones who hit and then decide to run. As it turns out, there is something more than just a little hinky about their supposed victim, though. 

After the incident, Tun, a photographer, begins to notice some strange shadows in his photos. Then his friends all begin to "commit suicide." It seems, Tun has some secrets he's been keeping from Jane and now they may both be in trouble. 

It's a pretty interesting film. The effects aren't bad and the storyline has no gaping holes (happens often with translated films). The trick is the twist, and this one has a pretty good one. I am a bit leery about seeing the remake, though, because unless they've chosen to change the entire plot, I already know the surprise at the end. I'd still like to see it and compare, but I may wait until it comes out on DVD. 

Of course, I have mixed feelings about all the American remakes we've been seeing lately. I like being able to see the originals, but it's true that with the translation (and cultural differences) they can sometimes be a little confusing in their original format. Take Pulse for example. The original Japanese film did not translate well at all. I was so confused at the end that I welcomed the remake with totally open arms - I didn't "get" it and I really wanted to. It worked out well. I liked the new version, it cleared up a lot of things for me and they didn't change a thing about it. Plus, I really liked the cast of the new version, even though Jonathan Tucker bites it in the beginning. 

On the flip side, would be the Korean film, The Ghost. It's a great movie with another surprise ending and it would make a good American horror film, sure, but just watch the original. I had no trouble understanding what was going on, and again, the twist at the end was fantastic. 

Other remakes hitting the screen shortly - Tale of Two Sisters (this one will make a good remake as the original is one of the more confusing ones I've seen) and The Echo (the original Filipino film, Sigaw was fine, Jesse Bradford stars in the remake and I really like him). I'm sure there are many others, but these are the ones I know about right off hand.  

I'd like to see remakes of Japan's Premonition and Infection and possibly Korea's The Red Shoes these are the ones that I remember having that "huh?" feeling at the end.

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