Shut In Reviews
DVD Movie Review: Shut In
Date Viewed: March 20 2017
Directed By Farren Blackburn
Written By Christina Hodson
Starring: Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, Jacob Tremblay, Charlie Heaton, David Cubitt, Clementine Poidatz, Crystal Balint, Alex Braunstein and Peter Outerbridge.
Oh Naomi Watts, please fire your agent. "Shut In" is one of those rare horror thrillers that manages to have no scares at all. I mean that literally, there is nothing creepy and frightening about it. I'm all in for a hokey and cheesy B-horror movie with a nutty premise and laughably awful performances but "Shut In" has none of those things. Even though it's set in rural New England, most of the movie was shot in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec. Hey! That's the area where I live!
Why can't Hollywood shoot more movies in the Eastern Townships, it's a quiet region with small towns and beautiful forests but unfortunately, Hollywood's CGI green-screen addiction is taking over the industry so I don't think any big celebrities will come to the region any time soon. The mystery in "Shut In" is completely idiotic and unbelievable and the jump scare cliches are all over the place. From raccoons to a mysterious somebody grabbing another somebody's body parts and to the creaky door sounds, "Shut In" has every horror cliche you can think of. I admire any movie for shooting in the Eastern Townships region but not when it's a terrible horror movie starring a very talented actress who should know better.
Watts plays Mary Portman, a widowed child psychologist who gets stuck taking care of her teenage stepson, Steven Portman (Charlie Heaton, from "Stranger Things") who's currently in a permanent vegetative state unable to move or walk. Steven wasn't always like this, he used to be a teenage adolescent who would always get into trouble. When he got expelled from school, Steven was forced to relocate to a new school with his father, Richard Portman (Peter Outerbridge) but the both of them got into a major car accident which resulted in Richard's death and Steven's paralyzed state.
Finding herself isolated at home with her step-son, Mary finds that someone maybe in her house but she doesn't know what or whom it is? There's also subplots involving Mary trying to rescue one of her child patients, Tom Patterson (Jacob Tremblay, from "Room") who has gone missing for quite a few days and Mary possibly trying to hit it off with the father of one of her teenage patients, Doug Hart (David Cubitt) but these storylines don't go anywhere.
This is a major spoiler alert but you probably won't care since this movie was a box office flop, the mysterious presence in Mary's house turns out to be Steven who was faking his vegetative state the whole time. Steven wants to really remain close to her stepmother in an affectionate and creepy way and he wants the Patterson kid dead because he wants him shut out of his mother's life. The climax of the movie takes place during a nasty winter storm because of course in all horror movies like this they always have nasty weather at night so that the filmmakers can build unruly tension. This cliched gimmick is old, cheap and suspense-free and I wish that all the horror masters out there would stop doing it.
Oh yeah, there's also Oliver Platt as a fellow psychologist and friend of Mary's but he is hopelessly lost here. Why is this movie short on scares? That's the real mystery in "Shut In". Maybe director Farren Blackburn and screenwriter Christina Hodson are allergic to them. That's a likely probable cause. Jacob Tremblay who was so terrifically good in "Room" is completely wasted here as the young boy who gets taken under Mary Portman's care. Naomi Watts does the best she can here but this sorry excuse for a horror movie was probably a way for her to make a house payment or something.
"Shut In" is completely inept and claustrophobically stupid all around. I hope Watts doesn't end up driving the same low-rent/VOD-lane that has led to the destruction of Nicolas Cage and Bruce Willis' careers.
At first, it looked fine. Well initiated by giving out a proper reason to develop what comes later. But that later part was the biggest let down. It becomes so cliché and because of that I lost interest. Otherwise, it is could have been a decent one with all the good actors. Also the location was good, a perfect setting for the storyline. But not noticeable when the narration enters the second half, mainly because of thriller takes over.
It is the story of a psychologist who recently lost her husband in a car crash, but ended up taking care of step-son after he became mentally and physically incapable. When the life was in the routine, suddenly something bad happens where her young patient goes missing. Following the event, she begins to experience what others won't believe her. But what comes later is more shocker, a twist in the tale takes us the conclusion.
As the title and its genre suggest, it remained truth to that, but there is no innovation in storytelling. Most of the people would easily predict most of the parts if not the entire film. The casting was the advantage and they all were good, including the kid from 'Room' and Naomi. Even though it is rated very low everywhere, as well as by me, kind of entertaining, which means watchable till the end than cut it out in the middle. Not a film to recommend, but if you choose it to watch, I won't say don't.
The plot follows psychologist Mary (Naomi Watts) after her marriage is struggling and her husband and her teenage son Steven (Charlie Heston) were going away. They were caught in a tragic car accident leaving Steven in a vegetated state. Mary is struggling trying to manage with her work and taking care of her son, and to make matters worse a snow storm is keeping them isolated in their home. When one of Mary's patient who is a kid Tom (Jacob Tremblay) goes missing in her area. Mary starts encountering strange noise in her house, feeling like someone is trying to stalk her.
The script lacked characterization or development to the story which made it difficult to even care for what is happening. It does feel like the script writer took some ideas off from other thriller films like The Shining or Psycho. Let's throw some curve ball of having Mary struggle with insomnia and paranoia. The twist was not as appealing when it happened in the last half of the movie. Yes, the film started getting a little exciting when the climax is shown. But it's not worth spending the entire movie seeing Mary, managing her personal life and working with her patient Tom.
The film lacked thrills and scares. It was a yawn fest waiting for anything to happen in the movie. Naomi Watts is a talented actress and this film seemed a little beneath her. But was probably an easy cash grab to be part of the project.
Overall, Shut In was a horrible film, it lacked scares or thrills, dull concept that other films done it better, and the plot was undeveloped that seemed pointless.
...waste your time.
...waste your money.
...try to navigate the holes in the plot.