Shut In (2016) Horror Movie Review


“Shut In” (2016) emerges as a psychological thriller that attempts to weave a tapestry of suspense and mystery but ultimately unravels under the weight of its own ambitions. The film, directed by Farren Blackburn, stars Naomi Watts as Mary Portman, a child psychologist who becomes ensnared in a chilling scenario following a tragic family accident that leaves her stepson Stephen (Charlie Heaton) in a catatonic state.

The narrative initially promises an exploration of isolation and paranoia, set against the bleak backdrop of rural Maine. However, as the plot progresses, it becomes evident that the film’s reliance on clichéd tropes and a convoluted storyline undermines its potential. The inclusion of a young deaf boy, Tom (Jacob Tremblay), adds a layer of complexity to the plot, but his character’s involvement leads to a series of inexplicable events that culminate in a twist ending which, rather than providing a satisfying conclusion, feels forced and implausible.

Critics have noted that “Shut In” falls short of delivering the psychological depth or the thrills that fans of the genre might expect. The film’s pacing is criticized for being sluggish, with a narrative that meanders rather than builds tension. The final twist, intended to shock, is met with derision for its lack of credibility and coherence. Despite Watts’ commendable performance, her talent is not enough to salvage a script that fails to fully flesh out its characters or provide them with meaningful development.

In the Nutshell

The consensus among reviewers is that “Shut In” is a missed opportunity. It squanders a capable cast and a potentially gripping premise on a disjointed plot and an overreliance on formulaic shock tactics. The result is a film that is neither thrilling nor thought-provoking, leaving viewers with a sense of disappointment rather than the lingering unease that the best psychological thrillers can evoke. In the end, “Shut In” is a reminder that a strong lead and an intriguing setup require equally robust storytelling to create a memorable and effective cinematic experience.  I give 3 out of 5 stars.

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Genre: Suspense Thriller

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