Shutter (2008 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byMasayuki Ochiai
Produced by
  • Takashige Ichise
  • Roy Lee
  • Doug Davison
Screenplay byLuke Dawson
Based onShutter
by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom
Music byNathan Barr
CinematographyKatsumi Yanagijima
Edited by
  • Michael Knue
  • Tim Alverson
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 21, 2008 (2008-03-21)
Running time
85 minutes (Theatrical cut)
90 minutes (Unrated cut)
CountryUnited States


  • English
  • Japanese
Budget$8 million[1]
Box office$48 million[2]

Shutter is a 2008 American supernatural horror film directed by Masayuki Ochiai and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was written by Luke Dawson and is based on the 2004 Thai film of the same name. Its story follows newlywed couple Ben and Jane who have just moved to Japan for a promising job opportunity. After a tragic car accident that leads to the death of a young girl, Ben begins noticing strange blurs in many of his fashion shoot photographs, which Jane suspects is the spirit of the dead girl that they killed. The film stars Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor, and Megumi Okina.

It was produced by Regency Enterprises and was released on March 21, 2008.[3] It grossed $10.4 million in its opening weekend and $48.6 million worldwide, against an $8 million budget, making the film a box office success[4] despite having only a 9% approval rating based on 65 votes on Rotten Tomatoes.[5]


Newlywed New York City couple Ben Shaw (Joshua Jackson) and Jane (Rachael Taylor) relocate to Tokyo, Japan, where Ben has a job as a photographer. While travelling by car in the wilderness of the countryside, Jane accidentally hits a girl, Megumi (Megumi Okina), standing in the middle of the road and ends up running over her. They find no trace of her body and decide to leave, thinking the victim was uninjured and had left. They later start to find mysterious lights in their photos, which are identified as spirit photography by Ben's assistant, Seiko Nakamura. Jane begins to have eerie dreams and visions which seem like they are trying to tell her something, and senses a presence stalking them.

Ben begins experiencing severe shoulder pain and his friends begin to comment on how he looks bent and hunched over, but the doctor finds no source of injury. Seiko takes Jane to her ex-boyfriend, Ritsuo (James Kyson Lee), whose career is to investigate and publish paranormal activities, and he tells them that the lights in the photos are spirits as well as manifestations of intense emotions that are trying to be communicated. At a subway station, Jane spots the ghostly presence of the girl she hit and ran over, causing her to believe that she killed the girl. Later, Ben has a similarly-terrifying encounter. They go to a medium, Murase, to find out more about the spiritual activity that has been happening to them. Murase takes the photos, but Ben refuses to translate what Murase says and storms out, claiming that he is a fraud.

Adam and Bruno [not previously mentioned here] are killed by Megumi. After witnessing Bruno's death, Ben wants to leave but Jane hands Ben their wedding photo, which shows a distorted picture of Megumi. They realize she has been with them the entire time and go to Megumi's home, only to find her decayed body. She had committed suicide with potassium cyanide long before the car impact and thus they had actually first encountered her as a ghost at that time.

That night, Ben is tortured by Megumi. Jane screams at Megumi to leave them alone; Megumi stops with a brief sinister laugh, leaving Ben alive. After Megumi's funeral, Ben and Jane return to New York, thinking it's all over. However, Jane finds some recent photos in an envelope which show Megumi. With Megumi's clues, Jane finds a camera in a trunk and uploads the memory card into the laptop. There, Jane sees photos taken by Ben, showing Adam and Bruno raping Megumi at her home before her suicide, while Ben does nothing but watch them committing the crime.

Ben returns home, where he tries to explain to a distraught Jane that he felt it was the only way to drive Megumi away. They had planned on using the pictures as blackmail against Megumi if she didn't leave him alone but it turned into rape. He absolves himself of blame because he never touched her. This explains why Megumi murdered Adam and Bruno, and why she has been haunting Ben. Believing that Megumi was trying to warn her, and disgusted by Ben's past actions, Jane concludes that she can't spend her life with someone like Ben so she leaves him. Ben tries to stop her, but Megumi locks the door and doesn't let him.

Driven mad by Megumi, Ben throws the camera across the room. It takes a picture of him, showing Megumi sitting astride his shoulders. Remembering his shoulder pains and the hospital where a nurse weighed Ben and it showed the weight of two people, Ben realizes that Megumi has been with him all along since her suicide without his knowledge. Horrified, and in a desperate attempt to rid himself of her, he electrocutes himself. He is rendered catatonic and sent to a mental institution, where he is shown sitting slumped over on the edge of his bed. The last scene shows Megumi still draped over his back.



Critical reception[edit]

The film received generally negative reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 9% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 65 reviews. The site's consensus states, "Being a remake of a Thai horror film instead of Japanese doesn't prevent Shutter from being another lame Asian horror remake."[6] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 37 out of 100, based on 12 reviews.

Commercial response[edit]

The film was released March 21, 2008 in the United States and Canada and grossed $10,447,559 in 2,753 theaters in its opening weekend, ranking #3 at the box office behind Horton Hears a Who!'s second weekend and Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns.[7] As of June 26, 2008, it has grossed a total of $47,879,410 worldwide – $25,928,550 in the United States and Canada and $21,950,860 in other territories.[8]

The film's $8 million budget and its almost $48 million worldwide grossing has secured the film as an extremely lucrative success.[9]

Home media[edit]

Shutter was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 15, 2008. The Unrated Edition runs 5 minutes longer and includes commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.

See also[edit]


Shutter: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by
ReleasedMarch 18, 2008
LabelLakeshore Records

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Welcome to Tokyo" – 1:55
  2. "We Hit a Girl!" – 2:58
  3. "TGK" – 1:37
  4. "Making Love" – 2:40
  5. "Alone in Tokyo" – 0:59
  6. "The Spirit Room" – 2:27
  7. "The Argument" – 3:05
  8. "Fly in the Eye" – 2:31
  9. "Visiting Murase" – 2:27
  10. "Jane Visits TGK" – 4:29
  11. "The Truth" – 1:54
  12. "I Saw Megumi" – 1:56
  13. "Driving to Megumi's" – 3:18
  14. "Rest in Peace" – 2:35
  15. "Flip Book" – 3:21
  16. "The Whole Truth" – 2:39
  17. "Psych Ward" – 1:02
  18. "Good to Me" (performed by Nathan Barr & Lisbeth Scott) – 3:23
Commercial songs from film, but not on soundtrack
  • "Falling" – Performed by Krysten Berg
  • "Just the Tip" – Performed by Becca Styles
  • "Come on Shake" – Performed by Shake
  • "That Kinda Booty" – Performed by Dem Naughty Boyz
  • "Sky Business" – Performed by Matt Pelling & Paul Williard
  • "Nasty Funky Crazy" – Performed by Becca Styles
  • "Fallout" – Performed by Brydon Stace
  • "In a War" – Performed by Michael Popieluch
  • "Underwater" – Performed by A.M. Pacific
  • "Omo Cha No Cha Cha Cha" – Performed by Akiyuki Nosaka, Osamu Yosioka, and Nonuyoshi Koshibe
  • "Do Something" – Performed by Shane Tsurugi for Rock Life
  • "Seventy-Seven" – Performed by Dino Zisis
  • "Oh, Joey" – Performed by Lucky 13


Shutter (2004)
Sivi (2007)
Shutter (2008)
Click (2010)
Photo (2006)
Ananda Everingham Yogi Srinivasan Joshua Jackson Shreyas Talpade Anand
Natthaweeranuch Thongmee Anuja Iyer Rachael Taylor Sadha Anjali


  1. ^ "Shutter (2008)". Logline. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  2. ^ "Shutter (2008)". Logline. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  3. ^ Thai horror remake Shutter gets release date, Film Junk; retrieved 2007-12-01
  4. ^ "Shutter". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  5. ^ Shutter (2008), retrieved 2020-02-14
  6. ^ "Shutter Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  7. ^ "Shutter (2008) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
  8. ^ "Shutter (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  9. ^ "Shutter (2008)". Logline. Retrieved 2009-01-05.

External links[edit]