Inside 'Shutter'

Reimagining "Shutter"

The mystery -- and horrors -- behind disturbing, ghostly photographic images become all too clear to Ben (Joshua Jackson).
The mystery -- and horrors -- behind disturbing, ghostly photographic images become all too clear to Ben (Joshua Jackson).
Bill Kaye/Regency Entertainment

"There are quite a few depictions in the original Thai film that have been influenced by the style of Japanese horror films," says producer Taka Ichise. "One of my biggest concerns was if we tried to remake the film by following the original faithfully, it would basically turn out to be a parody of Japanese horror films." Ichise tapped screenwriter Luke Dawson to pen the new version of "Shutter," but one particular plot point gave him concern.

"The ghost in 'Shutter' [had to] have its own will," he says. "I am confident that we were able to depict the ghost as being scary, even though it had its own sense of will. The grand sense of the story is the same as the original, but we tried to be creative and make the characters more empathetic."

"It's about death and revenge and secrets and betrayal and all those really potent human dramas," says lead actress Rachael Taylor, a big fan of the original movie. "It was one of the main reasons I wanted to make this movie. Our version is more of a reinterpretation than a remake. We shift the perspective from the male to the female. She's a very active and strong female character trying to figure out and interpret these supernatural events that are happening to her."

It was important to Taylor to establish the relationship between Jane and Ben at the outset "to make sure that there was a really tangible chemistry and that we looked like a young newlywed couple in love -- if we didn't have that, no one would really buy the degradation of the relationship. They're in this idyllic, blissfully married state at the beginning of the movie and then it all goes awry."

For lead actor Joshua Jackson, the main change in the new "Shutter" is cultural. "The original was a Thai movie with Thai actors," he says. "They already had a cultural reference point when the spirit photography came into it. By introducing Westerners, you have to bring the characters into that mythology."

"What I like about this film is we don't ask the audience to be on board with the realm of the supernatural straight away," Taylor says. "We ask them to discover it with us."