Shut In (2016)

Rating: R
Thriller
Try pairing with:  Oven Roasted Chicken & Stuffing

Jen’s Rating:  C

I was super excited to watch the movie Shut In after I read the synopsis. As the Blu-ray starts to play I grab my blanket and husband with excitement only to be shut in with an empty beginning leaving me confused from the start.  About 20 minutes in, you feel sadness for the main character, award-winning actress Naomi Watts.  Ms. Watts plays widowed child psychologist, Mary, living with her stepson played by Charlie Heaton in rural Maine. Mary is dealing with personal demons when a special orphan played by Jacob Tremblay becomes attached to Mary her life takes a stimulating psychotic twist.

Is Mary’s house haunted? Is a client trying to kill her? Is she suffering from depression with the loss of her husband?  Struggling with anticipation I found myself disgruntled and irritated by the unrealistic mentality of a desperate person. I was so aggravated that I wanted to turn the movie off but I couldn’t because I needed to know how the movie would end. After the overly exaggerated battle between Mary and her tormented demon the movie ended happily.

Overall, I’m giving Shut In a “C” because it wasn’t a complete disappointment. I feel the actors portrayed the characters appropriately. However, there was a weakness 3/4 of the way through that kept the movie from its full potential.

Jeremy’s Rating:  C

Shut In was promising.  The operating term there would be “was”.  It started off so well and built up a strong narrative base, with vanilla characters, built around common thriller archetypes, but it added a little spice here and there, especially with some instant action taking place fairly early into the film.  However, by the time one delved deep enough into it to understand the dynamic between the characters, one specific event makes what could have been easily avoided, a full on front end crash into the side of the mountain.

No one really shines in this thriller by Farren Blackburn, but the efforts put forth by Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, and Charlie Heaton are commendable.  Watts is a psychologist who lives in backwater rural Maine, in a beautiful home and runs her practice out of a lovely detached stable-turned-office/garage.  After seeing a deaf juvenile patient, she begins to see things that aren’t there and becomes increasingly unhinged as the film goes on.  There is a particular event in the beginning of the film that sets the tone for the entirety of the feature, but I am avoiding potential spoilers, so I’ll leave these details out.

As Watts begins to think she’s losing it, she begins to consult with her longtime friend and colleague, Platt, who becomes increasingly concerned with her wellbeing.  Towards the end of the film he travels through a dangerous snowstorm to visit her, and this is when things take a turn for the worse; as in, the entire film goes to absolute crap.  There is a certain event that I feel is just written wrong and could have been approached just slightly differently that would have made the scene in question much more natural and less infuriating.

Overall, there are plenty of stressful, exciting parts to this film, and it falls easily and comfortably into the thriller genre.  The twist alone will catch you unaware, (or at least it did to me, completely), and most people will at least be satisfied with this movie.  We rented this one locally and I feel that my $1.50 was well spent, and worth the price of admission.  While it was pretty much exactly what I expected with a few surprises, the misstep near the end of the film almost completely ruined the whole thing for me, and due to that I have to give this a solid C.

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