BRAND NEW ON E!
Review in a Hurry: A picture's still worth a thousand words, but Shutter throws in an unwanted bonus—a free ghost! Unfortunately you get what you pay for: lots of predictable look-behind-you apparitions and a discount cast trudging through a leaden story.
The Bigger Picture: Newlyweds Jane (Rachael Taylor) and Ben (Joshua Jackson) run over a mysterious woman on their honeymoon in Japan, but can't find the body. At least, not in real life. But the woman does develop an alarming tendency to appear in photographer Ben's snapshots, terrifying Jane and causing Ben headaches at work.
Shutter is yet another retooled Asian import featuring a vengeful, black-eyed ghost. As such, it's on painfully familiar ground. Lacking any distinguishing scares or a cast or script strong enough to carry it as a moody thriller, it tries to skate by on the ghost-on-film premise. Sadly, a horror version of "Where's Waldo?" is pretty thin ice. By the time Jane scoobys her way through an explanation of "spirit photography" to the first plot twist, you've had ample time to spot the villain and stop caring.
Running a slim 85 minutes, Shutter could easily lose two reels and still make sense. That's a whole lot of frames on the cutting-room floor, but none of them are pretty enough to save. And the ghost might as well have stayed in the pictures, because when she finally gets down to work, there's nary a shudder.
The 180—a Second Opinion: If you don't mind twiddling your thumbs until you get there, Shutter does sport a more satisfying coda than the typical kiddie-horror flick nowadays.