Shutter is a Thai horror movie directly inspired by the J-horror craze of the early aughts. The plot: Tun and Jane are a young couple driving home to Bangkok after partying with Tun’s skeevy college buddies. They’re both drunk, but Jane is the one driving when they hit a young woman. Jane wants to stop and check to see if the woman is all right but Tun yells at her to keep driving.
Afterwards, Jane feels awful and can’t sleep. Tun, who has the uncanny ability to put other people’s misfortunes behind him, has different problems. A professional photographer, he starts seeing weird shit in his photos. Then he has visions, all involving a malevolent dead woman. Jane sees things, too, but – unlike Tun – nobody seems to be stalking her, which is strange since she was the driver. It’s almost like someone is trying to tell her something – as ghosts do. Jane finds a photograph of Tun with a woman named Natre, whom Tun admits he knows.
Shutter takes a hard left turn when Tun and Jane discover that there were no reported accidents the night of their hit-and-run. Pretty soon it becomes obvious that the woman Jane hit was Natre and that she wasn’t – uh, alive. Tun’s visions grow worse as his college buddies start practicing high-diving off buildings. What’s up? Watch the movie to find out!
Shutter exists because of evil-girl ghost movies like The Ring. That said, Natre isn’t an evil spirit; there are evil people in this movie, but she isn’t one of them. Shutter is well-written and visually striking, with foreshadowing that works, a ton of good jump scares and two twists at the end. The first twist isn’t a surprise if you’ve been paying attention, but for me it was hard to watch. The second twist surprised me, in a good way.
My only quibbles with Shutter are that the subtitles aren’t great and Jane is more sympathetic than Tun, the main character. That said, one of the real pleasures of this movie is watching Natre drive Tun crazy. A few of his visions resemble bad acid trips.