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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2008), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 21min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Ozla Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Vertigo Entertainment
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Director(s): Masayuki Ochiai
Producer(s): Doug Davison, Takashige Ichise, Roy Lee, Sonny Mallhi
Screenplay by: Luke Dawson
Cinematography/Camera: Katsumi Yanagishima
Music: Nathan Barr
Film Editing: Timothy Alverson, Michael N. Knue
Production Design: Norifumi Ataka
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
From the executive producers of The Grudge and The Ring comes ShutteR. It comes from the same mold as The Grudge. It has the same feel. It has the same appearance. It has a few other similarities. For example, in The Grudge it is a house that carries a grudge. In ShutteR a woman, a dead woman carries a grudge against her assailants and finds a way to make one of her assailants suffer it ... for the rest of his life.
Upon being offered a really nice photography job in Japan, Benjamin Shaw (Joshua Jackson) marries his girlfriend, Jane (Rachael Taylor) and takes her with him. It is in Japan Jane meets one of Ben's old flames, Megumi Tanaka (Megumi Okina). Though Megumi is dead, it does not stop her from letting Jane know about her past relationship with Ben.
We've all had one of these relationships. Most of us anyway. S/he who once was a significant other for you won't go away, clings, simply will not let go, tries to make one feel guilty with "after all we've been through" and showing up almost everywhere you and a new friend go. That is the way it is with Megumi towards Ben. At least that is what Ben says. Even death could not stop Megumi. Does Ben have something to hide?
Megumi starts her invasion of Ben's life by standing in the road as Ben and Jane drive, Jane driving, to reach Ben's new job. After Megumi is trounced under the wheels of the car, she is nowhere to be found. Ben was asleep as this happened and now questions whether Jane is imagining the incident since even the police can find no body. But then, Megumi was already dead when Jane hit Megumi with the car. Where would one look for the dead body of a dead body?
Shrugging it off, Ben reports to his new fashion shoot on the steps in front of the TGK corporate building in the bright sunlight. But as Ben develops the photos he notices some smears and other eerie images contaminating the photos. The entire shoot is ruined.
By chance Jane finds out about a magazine that specializes in "spirit photos" -- photos that show spirits of the dead clouding and slithering around in the background of the photos. Jane is convinced a ghostly apparition has begun to invade their lives. Soon, Jane puts two and two together and figures the images in the photos are of Megumi's spirit. It is a vengeful spirit, seeking to get compensation for that which was ripped from her.
The story and plot blossoms from there into a full-fledged mystery thriller of sorts. But that is subjective opinion. Let me get to the facts.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
This investigation area had nine out of 100 starting points left after the CAP model made its findings based on the content. Each of the instances of demonstration of violence or violent behaviors were not all that severe ... but there were enough instances to erase all but nine of the 100 starting points. Megumi getting hit by the Shaw car was indeed quite a graphic display. A parasite crawling around under the skin of a human face then popping out in the eye was also quite graphic. Another eye was decimated by the unholy kickback from a camera. Ben was almost murdered by a super-long demon tongue into his throat. An attempted suicide by electrocution was not all that pleasant. [Eph. 4:27, Rom. 12:9]
The three/four letter word vocabulary was used only four times in this PG-13 film, which is very atypical for a PG-13, but other issues of the impudence and/or hateful nature stole almost half of the starting 100 points in the investigation area. One insolent expression used, "bite me", is originally an expression of a homosexual behavior but it is used here as a hateful comment not related to sexual behavior. Ben lies to Jane a number of times [Rev. 21:8]. Further, the most foul of the foul words is used but only once. [Col. 3:8, Prov. 8:13]
Sexual Immorality (S)
ShutteR is loaded with sexually immoral behavior and imagery. Indeed, there is enough sexually immoral content to erase all the starting 100 points in this investigation area. Ben and Jane are in bed a number of times, dressed and undressed (though no gender-specific parts are seen), making out and planning sex. There are innuendo regarding intercourse. Jane strips to her underwear (more than once) while the camera focuses on her crotch while she is on her knees with them spread apart in scant underwear. An entire photo shoot is of a woman in her underwear. And on top of these sexually immoral behaviors and images, a sequence of sexual assault of Megumi is seen with an offscreen rape murder. [Rev. 21:8, Gal. 5:19 - 21, 1Ths. 4:1-5]
A note about the scenes of Ben and Jane having sex. That is what married people do. One might then ask "What's the big deal?" Ben may be stage married to Jane but Jackson is not married to Taylor. And "acting" does not excuse sin. Further, what a husband and wife do in the privacy of their lives is not for public viewing.
As is evidently typical; of PG-13 movies, ShutteR presents drinking, drunkenness and booze. It also demonstrates the use of drugs to extort. [1 Cor. 6:10]
While the use of drugs to extort is sinful enough, a 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was
The researchers selected R-rated movies because they assumed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of "R-13" proven by this ministry in 2000 (see R-13) which Harvard University scientists corroborated four years later (see Harvard Agrees With Us. The bottom line? The focus is that the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment is undeniable regardless of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) classification. [Eph. 5:18]
Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2.
Our studies provide an additional parameter for the ACP study. While booze, drinking and smoking in and as entertainment indeed embolden defiance of rule and law and take their toll on wholesome decision-making skills of youth, our studies indicate the influence is not so much the presentation of booze and cigarettes in and as entertainment as it is the attitude portrayed by and with the drinking and smoking. See ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 for more information on the strongest proselytizing element in modern entertainment not being sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, etc. but is the attitude: the attitude of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences. Further, note that it is indeed attitude that emboldens youth to defy rule and law. Note also that attitude (impudence, arrogance, a proud look, "haughty eyes") is the first in the list of seven behaviors our Lord hates. [Prov. 6:16 - 19]
Offense to God (O)
Twelve times the name of our Lord is abused in Shutter. Once with the four letter expletive. But that is not why this film lost all the starting 100 points in this investigation area. the greatest loss was due to spiritism and unholy manifestations of the spirit of a dead woman. The entire theme of the film is about the spirit of Megumi manifesting itself in the lives of living humans. [Lev. 20:6, 1 Tim. 4:1, Lev. 19:31]
In addition to the offscreen sexual murder of Megumi, one of Ben's cohorts commits murder of the self (suicide) by jumping off a balcony. [Ex 20:13]
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
• "spirit" photos, frequent
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
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In the name of Jesus:
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ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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