Don’t waste your time with the bloated hollywood remake, if you want a real scare then you can do much worse than the creatively scary Japanese original version of the film ‘Shutter‘ (2004).
In the brilliant blanket sequence the audience expectations are expertly manipulated in the build towards the shock ‘jump out of your seat’ conclusion. At first the male protagonist discovers that his blanket is sliding away with the culprit revealed as a pale female ghost who starts to climb up onto his bed. This develops into a moment of slow building suspense as we tantalisingly anticipate the girl making her way towards him. The man tries to wake his partner but as he looks back around the figure seems to have disappeared. The real stroke of brilliance however is what transpires next.
Whereas we have come to expect these sequences to end with the principal character passing the moment off as an illusion and returning to their pillow, ‘Shutter’ has a cleverer trick up its sleeve. Instead the lead character decides to take a look under his bed as the gradual nail-biting tension returns. He investigates but there is nothing to see. He pops his head back up, takes in his surroundings with a confused frown, spots the blanket and then in a heart stopping moment comes face to face with the emerging ghost figure with the chilling visual accompanied by the sudden loud shrill of the soundtrack.
The instant acceleration in pacing is stunningly handled with the whole scope of the horror transforming from brooding and unsettling to all out, out of nowhere terror. The scene begins by scaring the mind and ends by causing a petrified physical reaction. This eery transition is one of the key reasons why this film feels so refreshing because it doesn’t give you the cliched narrative clues akin to the majority of horror films and thus the audience never know what to expect and must constantly be on their toes.