A few days ago I ventured to the theater to see drama/thriller Shut In (2016). It is directed by Farren Blackburn and written by Christina Hodson. I give this movie the rating: Avoid Like the Plague. In fact if there was a rating beneath Avoid Like a Plague, I would give it that one.
It isn’t surprising the cast drew me in. As soon as I saw the movie poster with Naomi Watts I knew I was going to check it out. Watts plays recently widowed child psychologist Mary Portman. Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things) plays her paralyzed stepson, Steven Portman.
The star here is definitely Jacob Tremblay. He is known for his role in last year’s film Room. In Shut In he plays Tom Patterson, a deaf and troubled nine year-old orphan. Tremblay is very believable and his acting range is fantastic.
Mary works from home so she can provide around the clock care for Steven. She deals with guilt about her son and husband’s accident. There is a great sense of isolation- both with the remote location of their home and also Mary’s limited contact with the outside world.
Shut In felt like an insult on my intelligence
The willing suspension of disbelief is a huge part of the viewer’s enjoyment with all films. I watch some pretty crazy science fiction movies and enjoy the heck out of them. With Shut In, I left the theater feeling insulted. Of all the ways the film could have gone, the plot twist that was chosen was the worst. There is a common film trope with these type of movies and I would have much rather weathered that storm. They even present it as a possibility and then WOOSH! SURPRISE! Everything is annoying after this point. WHY DOES MARY KEEP DILLY-DALLYING AFTER SHE REALIZES THE REAL THREAT?
The film has some pretty good jump scares but if you are looking for an engrossing story look elsewhere. With such a great roster of actors, I was expecting more. I don’t even suggest this film as a Redbox rental- SAVE YOUR MONEY. It is better spent elsewhere. I am actually pretty bitter I wasted my movie date to see this awful film. I was warned.