Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

TM Digital Newsletter

TM TikTok

Movie review: Shut In

Shut In managed to somehow defy expectations. It has a talented cast and stars Naomi Watts who plays Mary Portman, a widowed child psychologist with a disabled son.

As the winter storm approaches her New England town, she needs to find one of her young patients whose gone missing. Despite a rather basic premise the film plays out more intriguingly than one might assume.

Watts is serviceable as the lead and manages to shine despite it not being the typical serious fare she takes part in.

Jacob Tremblay plays the young deaf patient Tom that Watts’ character takes special care of with Charlie Heaton as Steven Portman, the disabled son an important character in the film not to be overlooked.

Psychological aspects are touched upon in the film. Mary has nightmares and visions she can’t seem to control. She seeks help in a colleague and friend played by Oliver Platt.

The idea of a psychologist dealing with psychological issues and seeking help was an important storytelling tool for “Shut In.” Elements like that add a touch of reality and extra layers to the film.

The film starts out slow and it doesn’t necessarily point in any particular direction. This movie veers in one direction due to the set up that comes later. It’s somewhat difficult to describe it without revealing the twist, which changes the entire direction of the film.

“Shut In” has a twist that will make you gasp. When it happens, things get real. The film was not trying to be cliche and go for the obvious easy ghost scares.

The sense of reality is the biggest scare the movie provides. If you’re hoping for “Shut In” to get you constantly jumping and give you legitimate scares, then you’re better off seeing “The Conjuring.”

This film is a lot more psychologically centered. It’s the mind that plays tricks and makes things feel uneasy, which the film captures nicely.

The major twist is worth the price of admission, with the moments of reality separating it from other horror thrillers. The psychological aspect puts it beyond surface-level quality. The drawbacks are the lack of genuinely scary moments and the sustainability of suspense.

The unknown that surrounded Mary wasn’t dangerous enough to have me fearing for her at every moment. This movie could have been pulled off without Tom, who was given a lot more focus than earned or deserved.

When it comes to the movie title, “Shut In”, it doesn’t give the ideal representation of what happens in the plot. Sure the characters are trapped or shut in the home due to a storm, but there is a lot more to it.

Overall, Watts does nice work taking the character places where it tricks the viewer. Is she crazy and losing her mind, or is she sane and rational? Those are the questions her character poses to the viewer.

“Shut In” has thrilling moments that will widen your eyes. The ending is a little too formulaic and cheap, but payoff of the twist justifies it enough to make it digestible.

The runtime is ideal at 91 minutes—it doesn’t drag, and accomplishes what it needs to. The film was pleasantly surprising and its set-up and execution of the plot ends up working in the end.

Story continues below advertisement
About the Contributor
Briana Velarde, Online Editor
Just a journalist in the making. You can call me Bree.  This is my last semester on the newspaper but like everyone else I started as a staff writer. I have also been Social Media, Multimedia, and Arts & Entertainment editor. Currently pursuing a career in journalism. Music, entertainment, and visual stories are my passion. How much time do I spend in the newsroom? All day. Well maybe not all day because I work at a theater and sweep popcorn for a living, but hey these bills aren't going to pay themselves. My ultimate goal to become a digital content producer for a radio station. If all else fails catch me designing for a magazine like Complex or Fader. Since my life revolves online, therefore I am your current Online Editor. Excited to be able to share my content on the online and print version of Talon Marks, read all about it!
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Talon Marks Picks TM Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Movie review: Shut In