I don’t intend to spend too long reviewing this film as to be honest there is only so much that can be said about it. Shut In is a great example of a film being ruined by a trailer, although, I’m sure I’ll get over it…
I have not seen the official trailers for this film, so whoever was in charge of the Netflix trailer is an utter fool. I’ll explain why.
Shut In follows a child psychologist, Mary (Naomi Watts) who loses her partner in a car accident which also leaves her step-son in a vegetative state. Mary cares for her step-son Stephen, played by Stranger Things’ Charlie Heaton, whilst working from home. Mary is saddened to learn one of her deaf patients, who has been passed through the foster system for many years, is to be moved to Boston. Later that evening she is awoken by a noise and finds her patient Tom (Jacob Tremblay) hiding in her car. Mary brings him into the home and contacts his minder, Tom lip reads Mary saying “police” and he panics. At this point we are meant to believe that Tom has run away. The police get involved and Mary blames herself. She starts to lose her grip on reality. Except, she is the only one (and her therapist) who thinks she is going mad, I expect the entire audience just believes she is an idiot. Without going into too much detail, it is obvious Tom is still in the house, but she never bothers to check properly and would rather freak out about it.
The rest of the film I already knew because Netflix basically included a spoiler in the trailer, and that was that Stephen is not actually in a vegetative state. So, considering I already knew this, it didn’t stretch the mind to work out that Stephen had locked Tom inside the house and was drugging mummy. Although, that was no skin off my nose as I had very little interest in this film.
Stephen: You’re replacing me!
Mary: No one could ever replace you. I promise. Please, just put the axe down, and we can talk about this.
Shut In is completely void of anything that would or could make it a good film. It is entirely predictable, dull and absolutely lacked suspense. Why such talent would sign up for this bore of a film, I do not know. Not only is it impossible to suspend your disbelief for such an absurd and inane plot but the “scares” are clichéd and unoriginal. You honestly expect anyone to believe that someone could feign being paralysed for six months?
Why do they keep making films like this? Everyone is bored to death of them.
The critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes is that this film is “Fatally undermined by a clichéd, confused plot and a total absence of thrills, it wastes its talented cast – and viewers’ time.” I could not agree more, I’ll never get those 91 minutes back. I can’t say much for Farren Blackburn, as I have seen very little of his other work, but based on the way this film has been received, maybe it is best he sticks to the TV Dramas.