The camera never lies in Shutter, an Asian horror movie with a sting in its tail. After driving away from a hit and run accident, Bangkok photographer Tun (Ananda Everingham) and his girlfriend Jane (Nattaweeranuch Thongmee, great name) start seeing ghosts in their snapshots. Jane thinks it's the girl they killed, but Tun wonders if its his past coming back to haunt him. Smarter than average, with a closing chill that'll leave you frozen in your seat, this Thai ghost story is nicely developed.
If you've seen any Asian horror movie of the last ten years, you know the drill: ghosts with bad hairdos, a Grudge from beyond the grave and technophobia that turns ordinary household objects (here the humble 35mm camera) into gateways to the next world. Pilfering their story and jumps from a dozen different movies directors Parkpoom Wongpoom and Banjong Pisanthanakun (trying saying that drunk) are shameless magpies. But they deliver strong scares, like ghost girl Natre walking upside down on a ceiling or attacking Tun in the dark as a camera flashbulb whines and flashes.
"WORKS BEST IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE IT'S HEADING"
For all its technology-obsessed focus, Asian horror's always been fascinated with the relationship between the living and the dead. Shutter's no exception. "We think spirits long for their loved ones," claims the editor of Ghost magazine (Thailand's answer to The Fortean Times) as our heroes look for answers. It's a line that's laced with irony, although you won't get it until after the credits roll. Like The Sixth Sense, Shutter works best if you don't know where it's heading, its final twist a pain in the neck that'll have you reaching for the Ibuprofen... It's a Kodak moment.
In Thai with English subtitles.
Shutter is released in UK cinemas on Friday 29th June 2007.