Shutter parents guide

Shutter Parent Guide

Overall C

Benjamin and Nicky Shaw (Joshua Jackson, Rachael Taylor) shudder when they discover the pictures they have snapped while on their honeymoon contain ghostly images. But when they decide to investigate the paranormal phenomenon more horror is exposed.

Release date March 20, 2008

Violence C
Sexual Content C+
Profanity C-
Substance Use C+

Why is Shutter rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Shutter PG-13 for terror, disturbing images, sexual content and language.

Parent Movie Review

Asian interest in the paranormal has translated into a number of American film adaptations like The Grudge and The Ring. All of them focus on spiritual communication with the deceased. Unfortunately, these dearly departed are anything but happy. Dredging up all the usual elements of the genre, these screenplays try to scare viewers by letting the dead reek havoc on the living.

In Shutter, Benjamin and Jane Shaw (Joshua Jackson, Rachel Taylor) board a plane bound for Japan following their wedding. Ben has cinched a job there as a photographer with a top ad agency. Driving to their remote honeymoon location in the Japanese countryside, Jane accidently hits a lone woman (Megumi Okina) standing in the middle of a dark, deserted road. Yet when the newlyweds regain consciousness following the impact, there is no sign of the woman or any contact.

Arriving in Tokyo a few days later, Ben goes to work in the studio of the large, vacant office building where the couple lives—all alone. Creepy moans and fleeting images of the accident victim begin to haunt Jane from the start. But Ben, stressed by a disastrous photo shoot, refuses to listen to any talk of supernatural activity until their own pictures come back with the same faint, odd images that ruined his work.

Before long the apparition becomes more pronounced and increasingly aggressive. Showing up in dark corners and reflected in glass, the ghostly form, along with a musical score reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, provides the film with all the obligatory jump scenes. However, even a visit to an expert in spiritual photography can’t protect the two foreigners (or the audience) from the pernicious phantom who seems intent on disrupting the happy union.

Escalating violence consists of bloody injuries, suicide and a self-inflicted electrocution. As well, women, in varying degrees of dress and sexual activity, all get snapped by the cameras in this horror flick. Brief strong language and depictions of drug and alcohol use are relatively infrequent. Still the unsettling activities behind the dark secret in this film may be enough to make parents shudder at the thought of their younger teens looking through this lens.

Starring Joshua Jackson, Rachel Taylor, David Denman, James Kyson Lee.. Theatrical release March 20, 2008. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Shutter rated PG-13? Shutter is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for terror, disturbing images, sexual content and language.

Quick images of and interactions with a ghostly character provide most of the scare factor in this film about a departed spirit. Moments of violence involve bloody injuries, car accidents, suicide, electrocution and hypnotic-type trances. Women are shown in underwear. Couples discuss and engage in brief sexual activity. A girl is drugged and sexual assault is implied. Infrequent drinking is contained in the script along with terms of Deity, occasional vulgarities and a strong, sexual expletive. Corpses and cremation are shown.

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Shutter Parents' Guide

How do Eastern and Western cultural attitudes differ in relation to paranormal activity?

What might be the challenges of moving to a new country? What social and ethnical differences may a person experience?

What elements are frequently used in horror films?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Shutter movie is July 14, 2008. Here are some details…

Shutter releases to the home video market in three editions. The Rated Theatrical Version offers the movie in both widescreen and full screen presentations, and two featurettes (A Ghost In The Lens and A History Of Spirit Photography). Audio tracks are available in 5.1 Dolby Surround (English) and Dolby Surround (Spanish and French), with English and Spanish subtitles.

Shutter Unrated Edition offers the movie in widescreen only, with audio tracks in 5.1 Dolby Surround and DTS (English) and Dolby Surround (Spanish and French). Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish. Bonus materials include the two featurettes found on the theatrical version plus: A Cultural Divide, The Director: Masayuki Ochiai, A Conversation With Luke Dawson, Create Your Own Phantom Photo and The Hunt For The Haunt: Tools And Tips For Ghost Hunting. As well, the disc provides commentary with production executive Alex Sundell, screenwriter Luke Dawson and actress Rachael Taylor, nine deleted scenes and an alternate ending.

Shutter is being released in Blu-Ray Disc too. This version will be authored in BD-Java with AVC (MPEG 4 compression) on a dual-layer 50 GB disc. Audio tracks are available in 5.1 DTS HD Lossless Master (English) and 5.1 Dolby Digital (French and Spanish), with subtitles in Spanish, Cantonese, Korean and Mandarin. In addition to all of the extras packaged with the Unrated Edition, this version includes the Fox Movie Channel featurette In Character With Joshua Jackson, three more alternate scenes and some Japanese Spirit Photography Videos.

Related home video titles:

In Rear Window, a professional photographer confined to his room with a broken leg suspects a murder has occurred after using his high-powered camera to spy on his neighbor. A young boy sees dead people all around him, without the aid of a camera, in The Sixth Sense.