#6. Shutter | 2004 | Thailand
A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past.
Shutter follows a pretty standard formula in terms of plot. A photographer is haunted by the ghost of a woman and as the story unfolds we understand the reason why. Not the most original work, but it’s solid in terms of writing and dialogue. The final conclusion is a very ironic yet satisfying experience, in touch with the atmosphere and tension built up to this point. Characters are likeable enough so it gets very nerve-wracking when they find themselves in danger.
In fact, it’s safe to say that the entire movie is nerve-wracking, psychologically painful and outright scary. This is all done with no small thanks to directors Pisanthanakun and Wongpoom through great camera work, intimidating make-up effects and careful use of digital effects to enhance the horror elements. It is this careful balance that makes Shutter brilliant, it didn’t allow itself to be dominated by CGI instead it used a combination of classic horror effects with modern computer-generated ones.
Shutter shows that you must have a certain amount of skill, and understanding of the human psyche, what makes us tick, what makes us afraid and then exploit that. It’s a Thai master class of what horror should be, and what Hollywood wishes it could do with horror. I keep raving about Asian horror films and it’s movies like this that just drives my points home. Forget the Hollywood remake, watch the original film from 2004 and enjoy this nearly 20-year-old masterpiece.