"Shutter," offers nothing new in the horror genre, in regards to what one expects from horror. However, what impressed me with the film is that it is the first feature film by both of the Thai directors, Bangjong Pisanthankun and Parkpoom Wongpoom. And given that Thailand does not have a very large, or great pedigree in the horror film market in comparison to Japan, this film is a worthy effort. The films main protagonist is named Tun (Ananda Everingham), and he portrays a photographer whose past is about to catch up to him. Tun and his girlfriend Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) are driving home late one night after drinking and entertaining friends at a club, when suddenly their car hits someone in the dark. Since both were drinking, Tun decides it best to leave the scene of the accident.
Nothing will be the same for the two after this incident. Moreover, there is something in Tun's past [no spoilers] which will have a significant impact on his life. Soon strange occurances begin to happen. The photographs that Tun snaps appear to show strange shapes and figures in them. Thinking that these exposures were defective, or the careless acts of the developer, Tun insists that a mistake has been made. It is either his camera, or defective film. Soon Tun's friends begin to die suddenly: All by by suicide; and each of them have a connection to Tun and his past. Thinking that the car accident was the reason for the now unexplained events that are occuring in his life, Tun and Jane begin to look into this matter. However, the true reason behind these events are much more ominous and sinister.
While the film does have some elements of other horror films in the film, they are more out of an influence than genuine copying. Furthermore, this is typical of the horror genre, including American horror films. Many borrow from each other. Having written this, I would also like to point out that there are many elements in this film which you will not see in MANY horror films: Like a story. The strength of this film is the journey that Tun and Jane must go through in trying to untangle the mess that their life has now suddenly taken. Further, the acting is very good in this film. Plus there are no special effects, or silly gore scenes. All in all, I thought this was a very good film, and for that it gets 5 stars. I have the import DVD, purchased through Asia Cinema. Therefore, I don't know how well this current DVD copy is. However, I do recommend the film. It will make a nice addition to your foreign cinema collection. [Stars: 4.5]