Remaking hit horror movies? Rachael Taylor 'shutters' at the concept

Rick Bentley
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

Rachael Taylor loves the horror genre. But she had second thoughts about being part of the remake of the Asian horror film "Shutter," which opens Friday. The idea of copying something that was already a hit made her pause.

"I think the reason the Western market has tapped into the Asian horror films is that they are so good. I think when a movie is good, it is like trying to remake a painting. I was hesitant about taking another crack at it because you don't want to offend the fans of the genre," Taylor says in the Australian accent that she has had to mask with an American delivery in her feature film roles.

And Taylor has come face-to-face with those fans. She was in town to be part of a panel discussion on the new movie at the WonderCon Convention in February.

"Shutter" is about what happens when newlyweds discover their honeymoon photos feature some gruesome ghostly images. This, uh, development is what makes the movie scary.

Taylor finally decided to be in the remake because while the essence of the film remained the same, there was a shift in story. The new "Shutter" focuses more on the journey that Taylor's character takes.

This is Taylor's second major movie that is heavy on special effects. Last summer she braved robots from another world as a computer geek in "Transformers."

If there's anything that appeals to Taylor even more than horror, it's loads of special effects. She compares the process of making a movie where creatures, robots or ghosts are added long after she is done with acting to childhood imagination.

"It is like going back to that time when you were 8 years old and you are pretending about monsters and fairies and all that stuff," Taylor says.

The hardest part of making "Shutter" had nothing to do with special effects. It was the real world that kept throwing her for a loop. The movie was shot in Japan and Taylor kept having what she called "lost-in-translation moments."

She found herself feeling isolated and detached from the world because of the language barriers.

"I actually felt like a ghost in Tokyo," Taylor says. "The journey my character goes on in the film is a lot like that. She has to figure out what is real and what is not."

Taylor's work in Japan was just part of a trek she has been on for the past year. Her journey started with a move to Los Angeles from her small hometown of Launceston, Tasmania. She almost immediately began work on the big-budget "Transformers." Then she was whisked to Tokyo for "Shutter."

All of which has been good for her, she says. With the travel and different cultures, she believes she has changed, grown and become a stronger person.

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