Shutter – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director

Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom

Cast

Ananda Evringham Tun
Natthaweeranuch Thogmee Jane
Achita Sikamana Natre
Unnop Chanpaibool Tonn

DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
Rating: R
Running Time: 95 Minutes

The Movie

Tun is a professional photographer. He loves taking pictures of all kinds of events and has a wonderful time doing it. Not only is he very good at his work, but he simply loves what he does. Tun has a beautiful wife named Jane who is the love of his life. Jane and Tun are great together. They are a couple who are happy with one another and have some great friends and life is just good for them right now.

One night they decide to go out and have some drinks with their friends. Joking, drinking, sharing stories, and laughing keep the night rolling as things are just absolutely perfect. They really can’t have a better life as everything has fallen right into place for a happy young couple, and they truly believe that things can only get easier as their lives go on. That is until the ride home.

On the drive, a young girl appears in the roadway out of nowhere and they run right over her. A short discussion later, and like all young people who are scared of getting in trouble, they drive leave the scene as quickly as possible. Well, actually, Jane’s heart is in the right place and she wants to get out and see if the girl is alright. Tun convinces her though that leaving the scene right away would be the best decision. Perhaps a little guilt will be easier to live with instead of going to jail, right?

Right?

It isn’t long after the incident that the memory of what they did begins to haunt Jane and Tun wherever they go. The only problem is that it isn’t just their memories haunting them; Tun starts to see faults in his photographs. At first he shakes it off as being some bad lighting or perhaps a bad roll of film. But after they constantly start showing up as smudges, orbs, and other problems, he knows something is up. The real clincher is when the faults are not only on the photos but also the negatives.

Things begin to get stranger and scarier for the couple as Tun’s old friends begin dying off one by one and reality just becomes muddled. Jane sets on a course to find out exactly what is going on and her findings prove to be a lot more then she bargained for. Not only does she start to suspect that their horrible deed is coming back to haunt them in the spirit of the young girl, but she beleives Tun’s past also has a lot to do with it. It seems the young girl they ran over that night on the road was an old girlfriend of Tun’s. Jane’s investigative work has uncovered a lot more then she ever expected and she plans to find out the full truth before it’s all too late.

Shutter seems to take a good bit of its scares and ideas from other movies such as Ju-On and Ringu, but I didn’t find it to be something we’ve seen before. I know that sounds weird considering the story has is similar in vein to I Know What You Did Last Summer but with more of a supernatural feel to it. Shutter has an atmosphere, a certain ambiance that makes it another memorable asian horror title.

As I said, the entire idea of Shutter has been seen before in multiple fright-fests, but they never were quite able to make them scary. It takes a lot to scare this reviewer, because I myself have been watching horror films going on 22 years, since I was a 6-year-old. Things that once scared me have become old hat; and while I enjoy the films, I don’t get scared. Shutter successfully created a feeling inside me with its dark scenes, creepy sounds, and eerie storyline that actually made me afraid. Fear from what, I’m not sure. All I know is that if I ever had an ex like Tun’s old flame, I’d make sure to watch those curves and slow down.

The Video

The film is shown in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen format and looks good. It is mostly a dark film, and it doesn’t have a purple tinge to the blacker scenes, thus making it actually look black. There aren’t many bright colors, but the ones you do see are clear and crisp. The blurry scenes are meant to be blurry as well so don’t think you’re getting a defective disc or something.

The Audio

The film is heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and quite possibly one of the best films I’ve ever heard. Like I said earlier, it’s the atmosphere of Shutter that makes the film so scary. And it’s the great sound presented that brings so much to the fear. Loud shrilling screams combined with eerie noises and just downright creepy music coming at you from all angles; it builds up momentum inside you. Silent when it needs to be, but you’ll pray for more sound just because of how close it gets you to what is going on.

Special Features

Original Trailer

Behind The Scenes – Here is not your basic “making of” featurette but one that actually breaks down the film into four separate parts. It’s quite the spoiler so make sure to watch the feature presentation before viewing this so as not to have it ruined for you.

The way the film is broken down is really nice considering that the plot isn’t hard to understand anyway. But seeing it from so many different perspectives and the deeper meanings behind each one make this a very informative and fun special feature.

Interviews With Director And Cast – Not much here as it is extremely short and just gets the views and thoughts from the director and some of the cast. They talk about their motivation and how they got into the proper mindset for their roles in the film, but like I said it’s very short so you don’t get much.

The Inside Pulse

Shutter has a lot of the same aspects that made Ju-On and Ringu so memorable. This is a film that’s best to watch with the shades down and the lights off, perferably in a room that cool, with a hint of rain outside. It would set the mood perfectly for a horror film that is bound to scare you. The special features are quite scarce but are saved with the “behind the scenes” featurette that covers every base. If you’re a Tartan Extreme fan, this is definitely one to pick up. If you’ve never experience Tartan Extreme before, then this is the place to start.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Shutter
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

8
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

9.5
THE EXTRAS

5.5
REPLAY VALUE

8
OVERALL
7.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)