Shut In (PG-13)

Naomi Watts and Charlie Heaton star in Shut In, the latest drama/thriller to hit the big screen.  Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin…

This movie could have been great, but missed the mark by a mile, and it was painful to watch it miss, because the movie had potential. It contains elements that would easily allow it to stand out as an original, but clung so tightly to horror film clichés (without even being classified as horror), that the story was done an injustice.  It has surprises and suspense, but also has much of the same old, same old regarding jumps and scares.  It contained far too many repetitive and predictable parts, save for the big reveal; and when the reveal came, I honestly found it to be utterly ridiculous.

There is nothing wrong with the acting done here, except it was done in the wrong movie. Too much of the movie relies on the characters doing the most foolish things.  I was so happy to see Oliver Platt, but his character behaved quite foolishly as well.

Shut In attempts to pay homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, but fails in its delivery.  Norman Bates-crazy is one thing, but this is quite another.  A mind has to stretch much too far, or rather too deep beyond the depths of mental illness to make this movie credible.  I’m not even sure if a mentally ill person can pull off what was portrayed in this movie.  One would have to be a special kind of crazy that I have never heard of or seen before.  I don’t think this kind of crazy could remain hidden; particularly not from one’s parent; even a parent in total denial of how insane their child really is.  It defies human nature and logic and is “crazy” in a preposterous way, rather than in a scary way.  So, the question is, does that make it a better film?  I don’t think so.  Others may disagree.

Although, I will admit that the Charlie Heaton’s character was sufficiently creepy, I just couldn’t get past the explanation of what happened to him to get to what people who liked this film saw. Following the reveal I was full of eye rolls and sighs, shaking my head from side to side, and fidgeting in my seat fighting for dear life to not walk out and waiting for this movie to end.  Two people gave up and walked out about 15 minutes before the end.  Oh, and the end…  I.  Cannot.

And at some point they went into the basement… (Read my reviews of Lights Out and Ouija: Origin of Evil to learn about my disdain for the old basement scene if you’re unfamiliar).

Shut In earned 5 out of 10 bloops. Shut In earned points for uniqueness and I really wanted to like it, but it lost me at the ridiculous reveal.  It is a so-so movie that could have been really great that may be worth a watch if you don’t have to pay.  I’ve met people who liked it much more than I did, of course, but I advise you to proceed at your own risk.

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