Gather round children and I will tell you a tale of betrayal, haunting and death; but please beware, you may die of fright… and my insurance doesn’t cover that.
Asian horrors are ones that I try to keep an eye on as they seem to hit the mark at a shocking high ratio. There are many standard favourites in the community that thrilled and terrified me and then I found Shutter, one of the scariest movies of all time.
A bold statement right? Well let me give you a little background. I first saw this movie with Emma, the co-founder of The Horror Hothouse, and there were screams aplenty. I showed it to another three people with the next few days and each view garnered the same reaction in my “victim”. The most interesting thing was that I was just as scared each time despite my familiarity with the movie.
The premise is a pretty simple one; Tun (Ananda Everingham) has a covert, childhood relationship with the odd Natre (Achita Sikamana) which he eventually casts aside in favour of his reputation. When his old friends start dying and odd phenomena seem to plague him and his beautiful girlfriend Jane (try saying this one after a G&T, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) he is forced to delve back into the past and face sickening secrets about himself that were long buried.
As in many Asian horror films mood is used heavily. The tension builds to such cataclysmic levels that when something finally does happen you’re so wound up that it explodes out of you. Another device used heavily is the “jump scare” which I know many consider a cheap form of scare. In my humble opinion they are crafted so inventively and timed so impeccably that they get you every time. The pure and relatable Jane anchors the story while the Tun’s increasingly complex character begins to lose its veneer as the story progresses reveal the darker, more sinister current that runs beneath. To my final point, the villain, who is phenomenal; yes she’s of the long, dark haired-bitter-vengeful-woman stock. but hey if it ain’t broke…
If you like a really good scare with lots of unexpected jumps then this Thai film is definitely worth a shot. Don’t let the subtitles put you off, to take preference over the remake would be a mistake and you just have to see how this one ends.
Video sourced from Youtube