Shut In

(2016)

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Title:
Shut In
Release Date:
11th November 2016
Runtime:
91 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Farren Blackburn
Writers:
Christina Hodson
Languages:
N/A
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 0%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 26%
IMDb Rating 4.8

Casts

Charlie Heaton as Stephen Portman
David Cubitt as Doug Hart
Naomi Watts as Mary Portman
Oliver Platt as Dr. Wilson

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Zbigniew_Krycsiwiki 19th November, 2016

There's no reason to watch this one.

The beginning of this film has Watts' character suffering the sudden loss (in a car crash) of her husband, which seemingly sent his 15 years old son (her stepson) into catatonia. She then cares for him (despite the fact it was clearly established that he was aggressively violent toward her, and his father, and the three of them never got along with each other). Then, a small boy Watts is counselling disappears from her house, in the freezing cold winter in Maine. She then seems to be going mad, both searching for the boy, and blaming herself for her stepson's accident, which it turns out, was all an act by him to get attention from her, despite the fact that again, they didn't get along to begin with, so why does he suddenly care if she pays attention to him? Far too complicated of a setup, especially for a film which cannot decide where it wants to go, this then degenerates into a really lame combination of this year's The Boy (which was quite derivative of several other films), Halloween (during the hiding-in-the-closet climax), and The Shining, with Oliver Platt's character obviously standing in for Scatman Crothers' Dick Hallorann. Seriously, anyone who cannot figure what his fate will be is a moron. There is so little to say about this one because there is so little substance to anything here. None of its under developed plot threads make any sense, or go anywhere. Seeing Oliver Platter just kept reminding me of Lake Placid, and made me want to watch that again. That's a far better movie than this.

Reviewed by ddbeuth 15th November, 2016

Don't waste your time

This movie can be summed up in a single word: awful. The performances were phoned in, the plot was weak, and the premise was ridiculous. ***** SPOILERS ***** The person who wrote this drivel apparently expected everyone to believe a number of complete implausibilities: that a catatonic boy who requires extreme care would be released to a home that lacks any accommodation for his condition other than an adjustable bed; that someone could convincingly fake being catatonic for six months; that despite his need to never be seen moving about, he also managed to slip his mother frequent doses of a tranquilizer that had been prescribed to him (we aren't shown how he managed this); that somehow the missing pills were never noticed during the six month period; that a raccoon rummaging in the garbage outside would wake her from her drug- induced sleep feeling compelled to investigate, but her supposedly catatonic son running around the house at night didn't disturb her a bit; and that the little boy trapped in the house only managed to make it to Naomi during the night when she was in drugged slumber and the fake catatonic was free to run around, not during the day when the fake catatonic had to sit passively in his chair or reveal his farce. In my experience, the care the makers' of a movie take with the minor details shows how much they care about the production as a whole. Here, they apparently didn't give a f---. An unexpected visitor tells the mother that the huge storm raging outside has already deposited so much snow that the end of her driveway was blocked when the road was plowed. Yet a little while later, when she runs outside, her driveway appears freshly plowed and there is a well beaten path to a dock on a little lake or pond. Despite the supposedly raging winter storm, the dock is free of snow and ice. Although it is supposed to be bitterly cold, there is not so much as a crust of ice on the pond/lake. This list could go on and on, but that's enough. In short, there are so many good movies out there, that it would be a shame to waste any time watching this one.

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 11th November, 2016

lame, boring, insipid, and insulting. a toxic combination for one of the worst of this year

Shut In represents the worst that the horror/slasher/stalker/thriller genre(s) have to offer, but it's also lame in the way that is all too common to screen writing. It's got a hackneyed story that for the first two thirds is dull as dishwater - deathly serious when it should be interesting, or at least giving us more with the character that Naomi Watts plays (or, I should say, passively inhabits until she gets her quick pay day for filming) - and then in the last third becomes atrocious as far as doing what I'm sure they thought of as "homage" to the Shining when it comes off as being a shallow and insipid rip-off. It's unimaginative in the ways that should matter for it to either be a legitimately good movie about a mother taking care of her invalid son (the opening shows her aggressive teenage stepson, going off to some special school after being expelled with his dad, and the two get into a car wreck that leaves the father dead and the kid in a lobotomized state), while also tending to a seemingly troubled boy who is practically deaf (this Jacob Tremblay, making sure like Jennifer Lawrence and Kristin Stewart before him among many others to get in that s***y horror movie in early in his career) and who runs away and he may be a ghost now, OR if it became a sleazy exploitation picture with hints/direct references to incest and gratuitous nudity and violence. Instead this is kind of lazy, boring thriller where the main character has dream sequences that are meant to trick us to make us think something terrible or suspenseful is happening (she's washing her son and then tries to drown him, so early on in the movie, wow that's effed-oh wait nevermind). It does something I cannot abide or stand by when it comes to cliched screen writing which is not carrying the courage of its storytelling convictions: it should take its premise of a woman in a snow-bound Maine area and run with it in creative ways, not in fake-outs and dreams/nightmares that are meant to make us jump. And, as is the case with spineless horror thrillers from Hollywood (The Darkness was another one this year, but at least that had the slightest bit of something different with the conceit of its premise), it's PG-13. Soft, squishy, one F-word and 'partial' nudity with Naomi Watts (or, as Jerry Seinfeld might say, "Bad naked" in the scene we actually see her exposed in an act of escape from a bathroom). This isn't the kind of movie that could have been saved necessarily by stronger performances - Watts is doing her best to keep above water, and Oliver Platt is there to, uh, deliver lots of clunky exposition about medical stuff and "there's no such thing as ghosts" - but I could have at least seen someone with stronger balls or crazier sensibilities. Here, Charlie Heaton is the son (or, sorry, 'step son', got to continue to say that, god forbid they went for the much more dangerous territory), and he comes off less like someone who could give this a pair of over-the-top magnificence (think 80's Nicolas Cage or early Crispin Glover for example), and is instead like a 2nd rate Dane Dehaan. By the time his 'secret' is revealed it's a) so preposterous that, as it turns out, was actually a *joke sub-plot* on Arrested Development, and b) if it's meant to be serious it doesn't hold up to a shred of scrutiny. Compared to this, this year's The Boy is Hitchcock's Psycho. But at least The Boy tried to give it a good go with giving good actors some decent dialog, and once it finally went full-stupid it was so mind-blowing as to grab my attention by the throat (the ending, as uproariously silly as it was, at least tried something different). This does nothing different, aside urinate on The Shining and Stephen King in general, and if I wasn't being angry at other times I was nodding off almost about to sleep, which is very hard for me to do given the light and sound of a theater experience. It's not scary, not thrilling, not dramatic, not exciting, not enticing, not well acted (yeah, it's a career low for Watts), and it's not even much of anything. I'd expect it on a ten-pack DVD of bargain basement horror flicks you can get in Wal-Mart, not on over 1,000 screens.

Reviewed by Dave McClain (dave-mcclain@hotmail.com) 11th November, 2016

It has to be very difficult to care for a shut-in, especially when you're doing it by yourself, and even more so when you live in the middle of nowhere. You have very little support (physically or emotionally), which means you're probably very lonely, overworked, frustrated, you can't easily go out much and you don't have much of a life to call your own. Even if you love the person you're taking care of (as most, if not all caregivers do), it has to be extremely tough. That's the set-up for "Shut In" (PG-13, 1:31). Oscar nominee Naomi Watts stars as Mary Portman, a family psychologist who's unable to help Stephen (Charlie Heaton), her troubled teenage stepson, get past his (unexplained) inner turmoil. When Stephen gets expelled from school (for reasons also not explained), Mary and her husband make the very difficult but necessary decision to send him off to a special boarding school. On the way to that school, a car accident kills Stephen's father and leaves Stephen in a catatonic state, with Mary as his sole caregiver. Mary loves her stepson and does her best with him, but she also has to keep working. After feeding, bathing and dressing Stephen each morning, she sets him up in front of the television and walks over to her office in a small building right next to her house in rural Maine. One of her patients is a young orphan named Tom (Jacob Tremblay), who is nearly deaf and doesn't speak. When Tom finds out that his caregiver is planning to send him to Boston, he runs away and shows up back at Mary's house. Before Mary can get Tom's caregiver to come out to her place and pick him up, Tom disappears. As that cold Maine winter day turns into an even colder night, Mary and those helping to search for Tom fear the worst. Mary starts "seeing" Tom in her bedroom at night and actually starts thinking that he has died and his ghost is haunting her. Mary has a psychiatrist (Oliver Platt) who tries to reason with her and offers to prescribe sleep medication, until he learns there's something about Mary that he didn't know. "Shut In" is an entertaining thriller… if you can look past the many plot holes in Christina Hodson's script and inconsistencies in Farren Blackburn's directing. There are numerous basic questions left unanswered (like those examples mentioned above and others like why, in the midst of a winter storm, there's no ice on Mary's pond) and some characters' actions don't make sense in light of their motivations. The twists are cool, but the acting is shaky and the plot is simplistic and contrived. "C+"

Reviewed by benniewoodell 11th November, 2016

Not what I expected, and that's not a good thing.

I hadn't heard of this film until yesterday, and all I saw was the poster. It looked fantastic and film noir'esque with the blinds and shadows, I was sold on that alone. I didn't want to watch a trailer and go in blindly cause the poster is supposed to represent what the movie is also. I do have the Movie Pass, so though I pay the monthly subscription fee for the service, I didn't actually have to pay to go in the door to see the movie which has led me to seeing some great films on a whim that I otherwise wouldn't have seen that I loved, I sometimes go twenty times a month to the movies, so going to this on a whim was not a rare occurrence. Plus I love Naomi Watts, ever since Mulholland Drive I've been a fan of hers. Within the first ten minutes I realized that the film was going to be vastly different than the poster, which is fine, calling an audible on the line of scrimmage isn't going to make me hate the film, sometimes those turn out to be the best movies, but within twenty minutes I sat there and I knew exactly what was going to happen, and it only got worse from there. They really could have taken what they had and made something incredible, it was there, but instead they decided to go and make a paint-by-the numbers "thriller" that didn't even allow them to color outside the lines at all. At on point in the film I looked at Naomi Watts and knew she must have needed a new car or something as this was a phoned in performance, everyone else in the movie did great and really tried, but I feel like they knew they were in a dud and were trying to pump themselves up and give the best damned performance of their careers to make the movie better than it was turning out to be. Yes, there was some great cinematography, some that even followed suit with the noir style poster that drew me in, so that I enjoyed. They really did try to make it look great, so I applaud them on that. But all in all, this film is what I tend to think of as a disposable cup movie. You're thirsty, so you grab that small plastic cup next to the water cooler, take your drink and toss the cup in the garbage and forget you even had a drink.