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The ViewQueenstown Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/05/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

As horror remakes go, this is a bit of a mixed bag with performances, script and direction all veering from good to bad to laughable throughout.

What's it all about?
Joshua Jackson (Dawson's Creek) and Rachael Taylor (the blonde IT expert in Transformers) play newlyweds Ben and Jane, who jet off to Tokyo immediately after their wedding so that Ben can take up a lucrative and glamorous photography job with ex-colleague Bruno (David Denman). However, their happiness is cut short when Rachael crashes their car after hitting a Japanese girl (Megumi Okina) on a desolate mountain road, only for the girl to have disappeared by the time they regain consciousness.

Shortly afterwards, ghostly images begin to appear on the couple's photographs, both in their personal snaps and Ben's costly magazine shoots. Jane investigates, believing the images to be the ghost of the girl she ran over, but she's unprepared for what she finds.

The Good
Rachael Taylor makes an appealing lead and the Japanese locations add a certain something, while David Denman and John Hensley are both well cast as Ben's sleazy friends. Similarly, there are some suitably disturbing sequences towards the end of the film but by then it's a case of too little too late.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that it just isn't that scary, largely thanks to Masayuki Ochiai's uninspired direction and a perfunctory script that seems to think ghostly images are enough. There are also several scenes that are both overly familiar and have been handled much better elsewhere, such as the crash on the road and a visit to a medium.

Joshua Jackson does a good job of balancing charm and creepiness but he's not really up to the shouty scenes, which are both laughable and embarrassing. The dialogue is pretty bad in places too – for example, the Spirit Photography Magazine sequence is painful to sit through.

Worth seeing?
On the remake scale Shutter isn't as good as The Ring or Dark Water but it's much better than The Eye and One Missed Call. Approach with caution.

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Content updated: 17/12/2018 19:53

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