21 February 2017 | coreyjdenford
Incoherently Shut In
This review of Shut In is spoiler free
EVERY ONCE IN a while there will be a horror-thriller with an interesting premise, and for a while this will bode well for the film industry but then disaster strikes. There will be a film released when the thrills take ages to kick in which is interesting if it's done well, even Naomi Watts has been in a few of them Mulholland Drive and The Ring to name a couple.
If it's done horribly nothing bodes well for the film, this shows in director Farren Blackburn's Shut In. Here Blackburn is away from his natural home of directing TV episodes (he's even been tasked for making the first episode of this year's Iron Fist). The film stars Watts as Mary Portman a Child Psychologist who works close to home. She has a good day working with a child until she gets the call that her 18 year-old stepson (Charlie Heaton) has been involved in a head-on collision, and he is paralyzed. She has to take care of his every need, bathe him, feed him and clothe him.
For a while this isolation horror-thriller has an interesting premise, there are even a couple of gorgeous shot of Watts walking through the snow covered wooded environment outside her home. Unfortunately the screenplay written by Christina Hodson is garbage, and at points awkward down to a tee that it makes it hard for its main star to read out the lines. In addition with terrible performances, even at Watts' standards. There is a point in which Mary seeks help from her employer (Oliver Platt), she states that she is seeing a ghost of a child that she takes care for, he then says that ghosts don't exist she's just sleep deprived. It plays on this for quite some time not giving much information or any idea of where the film is heading.
To an extent the film also involves pretentious jump scares, which appear in a theme, of she hears banging goes to investigate and it turns out to be a false alarm, or she is grabbed and scared half-to-death, this sparks a vulnerability theme. There are a lot of those feelings in this. It's not original. At this point there is no hope left for Shut In. Seemingly we wait for what feels like an eternity for something even remotely thrilling to happen, at which point we've had our thousandth yawn. To spark the audience's attention it calls the barricade & hunt style card, last year's The Boy played on that theme too. It doesn't need to be said, but it's fair to say this is a tired - frankly unoriginal, incoherent horror-thriller with nothing interesting going for it, it's just drivel we've seen before.
VERDICT: A tired horror-thriller, with poor performances even by Watts' standards, and garbage screenplay. It'll be better to watch this while sleeping.