The trailer people totally fooled me on this movie and I’m super annoyed. It’s teased as some kind of supernatural horror story but it’s totally not and fuck those guys for playing me.
(Reminder: SPOILERS are possible here as my internal editor is allergic to tequila and is looking for his Epi pen right now)
Shut In is about Mary Portman and her son, Stephen. Well, you think it’s her son but he’s really not. Whatever. Mary and her husband (He’s not even credited on IMDB so I can’t remember his name and for real, who really cares? He’s in it for like 5 minutes maybe.) think it’s time to send Stephen off to boarding school because he’s acting up or out or something. Teenagers, amirite? On the way, a car accident kills the dad and renders the son catatonic. I had to look it up because I thought he was paralyzed but there is such a thing as catatonic depression which would explain why he was taking meds and could swallow them with a little food but otherwise remained motionless and mute.
As the weeks and months drag on, caring for her son day after day AND keeping her psychologist practice active, you can tell the stress is taking its toll. But when she meets a young deaf boy struggling with his home life, Mary sees someone she can truly help and, let’s face reality here, be a surrogate son. Unfortunately he disappears before she can really work with him.
And that’s when the shit hits the fan.
Weird things start happening around the house. Mary hears strange noises; she starts hallucinating. It doesn’t help that her psychiatrist friend keeps telling her everything is in her head. Until it’s not, that is.
That vague enough for you?
I was so fucking PISSED at the reveal on this one. The reveal itself was all right (via webcam) but I really wanted to see some kind of fucked up ghost story or any kind of supernatural element here. But the fates decided I must have gotten a little too uppity in my demands and I was presented with a very trite film.
Though I do love the isolation element when used in movies, for this one it just seemed overdone. Widow; mom alone in a house with a sick child; middle of winter and there’s a giant storm headed in; that little kid she wants to help is deaf so HE’S isolated and alone. Okay, okay. We fucking get it.
Then there’s the whole ‘accident not an accident’; unhealthy close relationship between mother and son; faking illness; hallucinations that even I figured out must be drug related; shit ton of jump scares, most of which I saw coming. Fucking weak.
Though the acting is good (Oliver Platt never disappoints; Naomi Watts is fantastic; Charlie Heaton was…a little over the top but I loved him in Stranger Things so it was nice to see more of his work), I left the theater feeling angry and disappointed. If you want to see an excellent thriller that uses many of these same elements but in a much better way, watch “Hush” instead. Skip this crapfest.