Thais do it best

When my son went off to the United States for high school, one of his self-appointed missions was to spread the word about Thai horror films. He says only Thais can do really scary movies. He has one of the world’s most extensive collections of such movies to back up his claim, and after watching them with the lights out, all his friends agree on the ability of Thai directors and editors to provide a chilling, shuddery, downright scary movie.

I was thinking of that while reading this review blasting the Japanese remake of the 2004 Thai movie Shutter (more here with US trailer here).Thai DVD cover for Shutter

Ananda Everingham and Natthaweeranuch Thongmee did good jobs as Tun and Jane, who find out from photographs that they cannot escape their past. But Shutter just worked because of the director, the editing, the cinematography… It worked because it’s a Thai horror flick, and Thai horror movies are, well, the most horrible.

The Japanese have got props recently for their horror movies, while the Hollywood remakes of The Ring and One Missed Call have been trashed. So it’s pretty amusing that this review trashes the Japanese for “another boring J-horror film”:

This uncredited remake of a 2004 Thai film (“T-horror?”) has been Nippon-ized, with Japanese settings, supporting cast, director, crew and sensibilities. It has its moments. But even at 86 minutes, it’s a drag. And even at that length, things don’t happen fast enough to keep the viewer from jumping two steps ahead of the frights.

Note: The Japanese film’s stars are both farangs, Americans. The review describes them as

a newly married couple, blandly played by Rachael Taylor and Joshua Jackson.

The girl is named Jane (are there still Americans who name their daughter “Jane”?). But the boy is Ben, not Tun, and, luckily for the script, speaks perfect Japanese instead of Thai. How scary can you get?

The original Shutter, however is definitely worth a shudder.

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