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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A grumpy husband yells at his wife; a ghost haunts several people; characters lie and commit violent acts.
Violence & Scariness
Car accident early in the film shows victim slammed by vehicle and tumbling under the wheels, and the car screeching and crashing into a tree. Repeated tense scenes in dark hallways or rooms; several jump scenes in which a ghost, shadow, or person appears unexpectedly. In the darkroom, Ben splashes a chemical on his face and hallucinates blood all over his eyes and face. A camera eyepiece explodes into a photographer's eye, leaving him dead (bloody face in close-up). A man leaps from a balcony with a thud (close-up of a bloody head/eye). Ghost sticks ugly long tongue in Ben's mouth; he gags and coughs and appears to suffocate. Photos show sexual assault on a woman. Man electrocutes himself.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Newlyweds kiss and embrace passionately, then the wife suggests they "get this thing consummated," though nothing is shown. Some bra-and-panties shots of women -- one straddling a man, another posing for pictures. Ghost climbs into bed with Ben and pulls her dress over her head, showing her back, which is decomposed and gross.
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One use of "f--k," plus other profanity, including "s--t" and "goddammit."
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Products & Purchases
Mac laptops; neon signs in Tokyo show various brand names.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink champagne, wine, beer. Men put date-rape drug in a woman's drink.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this horror movie includes some graphic violence, including the bloody effects of a ghost's assaults on victims. There's also a jarring car accident; a leap from a balcony that has a hard, bloody ending on the sidewalk; and a camera eyepiece that pierces a character's eye. The ghost appears repeatedly in shadows and scares people. A sexual assault appears in photos and a flashback scene. The movie also includes some sexual imagery, showing women in bras and panties, as well as naked backs. There's some language and drinking, and a scene shows men agreeing to put a date-rape drug in a woman's wine. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Shifting the location to Tokyo and setting Caucasian stars against a Japanese ghost (the original features all Thai characters) changes the movie's haunting dynamic. On one level it's yet another instance of a white woman stalked by a vengeful Asian ghost. But on another, as Jane comes to understand the reasons for Megumi's anger, the women realize a shared grievance premised on gender imbalance and sexual abuses. It's hardly revolutionary for a scary movie to have a Caucasian woman wandering frightened through Tokyo, harassed by some supernatural phenomenon. But Shutter is almost perversely upfront in connecting privileged, self-justifying Caucasian men with the problem at its core.
And yet, despite this potential complexity, the movie lapses repeatedly into tired conventions. The "scares" are bloody but not very clever, the plot increasingly silly. In part this is a function of lapses in the script, as explanatory scenes pop up in strange places and a voiceover fills in for scenes missing altogether. Jane's plucky resilience makes her sympathetic, and when at last she literally leaves the movie before its end, you admire her sudden good judgment and wish her well.
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Our Editors Recommend
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