Japanese Horror

Shutter (2008) is an American horror set in Japan, or a Japanese horror setting about the Americans (which is no bad thing). Rachel Taylor blond bright and beautiful is on honeymoon. They’re driving- and Joshua Jacksoning about -when she hits a Japanese girl standing in the middle of the road, which is no place to be, even though it is snowing and I did that very thing this morning. Both honeymooners are a bit bashed up, but she is first to react, jumping out of the car and searching for the girl. He is slower, insisting it was an old deer or something, as if he was used to hitting Japanese girls all the time and really it’s no big deal. The police come and he deals with it as he’s bilingual and she’s just American. My knowledge of Japanese is limited, but I think he said it was a big elk. The police are impressed with his explanation and leave him another car to contiue on honeymoon with.

He is also an international photographer working in Japan so they take lots of photos before heading back to work for his Tokyo agency. His pals have got him an apartment and she whoops with joy because it’s bigger than a rabbit-hutch. The Japanese economy of course being the prototype for nepotism between the public and private sphere, a property boom based on pyramid banking and sharp deflation during the late 1980/90s. It’s all too good to be true. They have a squatter living with them. She’s very quiet at first and only shows herself by behaving like one of these pests that are always sticking their smoky head into every photograph.

He tries to palm her off with it’s just another elk story, but his beautiful assistant spots it right away and says something like it’s a fucking ghost daftie. My English isn’t very good so this is a rough translation. The assistant, of course, has a boyfriend who has his own magazine and all they do all day is take photographs of ghosts. It seems like a very popular and worthwhile hobby, but is a bit pornographic as there is only so many ways a ghost can scare you. She can crawl out of the TV set as in The Ring, or she can just hang about and be malevolent, like my girlfriend. I know which one I’d choose.

Ghosts, of course, suffer from existential angst; they need a reason for being. The Shutter ghost is a Japanese girl that had been rejected by Joshua. She wouldn’t take no for an answer so his two pals raped her. Joshua’s alibi was that he didn’t do it, just took the photos, which means, of course, that it could turn into ‘The Accussed’ but doesn’t. Everybody dies, apart from him, because even though he’s been cheating on her and married an American she wants to be with him-forever…