‘Shut In’ has been met with some serious criticism, and that’s putting it lightly……since its release the film has been absolutely panned left right and centre and although I don’t think its breaking any moulds or adding anything to the genre awarding the film 1/10 and claiming its the ‘worst film ever seen’ is just irresponsible critiquing….in my opinion.
Oscar nominee Naomi Watts stars as family psychologist Mary, sole carer of her catatonic stepson Stephen. Her husband killed in a car accident when taking Stephen to a boarding school leaving Mary to fend for herself, in-between caring for her son she works and lives alone in her secluded house.
One of Mary’s patients, a young orphan boy named Tom is planned to be sent to Boston for better care and goes missing, Mary starts to have nightmares and believes she starts seeing Tom in her home. She talks to fellow psychiatrist and friend Dr. Wilson who tries to prescribe sleeping pills to help, he analysis Mary’s blood as is procedure and finds out some startling results.
That is probably about how much you can analyse the plot without completely revealing the outcome, yes it is that straight cut. One thing that we did all agree on was the ‘reveal’ of the plot…….its presented really quite early on and ends up bottle necking the remainder of the film into a game of cat and mouse. We would have favoured some more back story of Stephen (maybe some medical information about his scans? Why are his results saying he’s normal but still in a catatonic state) it really could have added another layer of mystery. Unfortunately we are expected to shrug off any of these plot holes which may not bother you at the time but later when you sit down to think about the film really are a bit of a letdown.
There are a couple of ‘supernatural’ moments early on, and at the time its not clear to see where the film is heading, the ‘scares’ although as generic as they come at least upped the tempo for a couple of scenes but are soon diminished.
For me production isn’t the problem here it’s just the plot, the location itself is brilliant, a secluded big house in the middle of a snow storm completely adds to the isolation, the acting as you would expect from the list is high grade but it’s just missing that spark!
Shut In is clearly a polished film, it’s been well put together, has been brilliantly shot including some great externals showcasing what Maine has to offer and has a top quality cast –. My biggest problem comes from the question, would I recommend watching Shut In?……….there’s no definite answer, it’s too linear to be a ‘great’ psychological thriller but at the same time its merit lies in production and cast. Ultimately if thrillers are your thing then you will find enough here to be enjoyable. Naomi Watts is incredibly convincing at portraying a lonely single mother trying to spin plates and showing the signs of falling apart but all said and done Shut In still falls short of the mark, not as bad as claimed to be however a missed opportunity of budget and cast!