'Shut In' - Movie Review
Naomi Watts' starrer 'Shut In' is an attempt at psycho-horror-drama that works in bits and parts only. Every attempt at generating thrills and scares appears fake. There's no compelling story here and neither is there any involvement
Director: Farren Blackburn
Cast: Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton, Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt
‘Shut In’ is an attempt at psycho-horror-drama that works in bits and parts only. It is a thriller that starts off at an extremely slow pace expending more than an hour on telling a backstory that does not matter in the least. That Dr Mary Portman’s (Naomi Watts) husband died in the same accident that debilitated her step-son 18-year-old Stephen (Charlie Heaton) who has since been paraplegic, is of no consequence. The film could have just started off showing us Mary struggling to balance work and care-giving in a remote snowed out township in Maine, that barely has any community to speak of - other than the stray visitors to Mary’s home.
A stressed out Mary wakes up in the night riven by nightmares that involve her stepson. She is soon beginning to believe that someone has trespassed into her abode. And then a young speechless child she was counseling, Tom (Jacob Tremblay from 'Room'), disappears and things go a little haywire for Mary from then on - and her Skype sessions with another shrink (Oliver Platt) are not helping her either.
So the director Farren Blackburn resorts to gamey atmospherics to heighten the sense of doom. A raging ice storm is bearing down on where Mary lives just when her strange, bizarre nightmares increase in frequency. Wonder why it took six months after the accident to understand that something was not right in her world. The big reveal, when it comes towards the climax, is just not relatable. There’s no attempt to substantiate such a possibility, in anything that comes before it. So when it happens you’re like... where did that come from?
Screenplay writer Christina Hodson obviously did not have a clue as to how to connect the big idea with a credible story. So every attempt at generating thrills and scares appears fake. It’s also obvious that the mechanics have been ripped-off from much more assured material . There’s no compelling story here and neither is there any involvement. But for the heightened atmospherics, and the presence of Naomi Watt and Jacob Tremblay, this would have been an imminently forgettable experience.
Watch 'Shut In' trailer:
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