Shut In - D
Rated PG-13, 91 minutes
Being shut in for real may be far more interesting than the dull, ridiculous new psychological horror film "Shut In," managing to waste a terrific, Oscar-nominated actress, not mention the lush, snow-covered setting. The snow can make for deeply unsettling situations, but it's far from being "Misery," just miserably slow and boring.
Mary (Naomi Watts) is a child psychologist living in isolation in rural New England after losing husband in a horrific car accident. The tragedy also leaves her 18-year-old stepson Stephen (Charlie Heaton) in a bedridden, catatonic state, making him completely dependent on her. When one of Mary's young patients (Jacob Tremblay) goes missing and is presumed dead, she becomes convinced that the boy's ghost is now haunting both her and Stephen.
Directed by British TV director Farren Blackburn and written by up and coming screenwriter Christina Hodson, "Shut In" is a remarkably stale, lackluster thriller that'll have you looking at your watch, and not in a good way. Every actor has a few black marks on their resume, and this will be one for the lovely but miscast Watts, who doesn't seem all that committed to the role, except she does appear naked (or PG-13 naked) midway through the film.
Worst of all, "Shut In" is one of those kitschy horror films with the "big twist," yet the twist here is so silly and laughable it can hardly be taken serious. What's left is something so muddled and boring, it's hard to really connect with any of it. It spends a good, long stretch wandering around in that snow that you may wonder if anything is going to happen, though it's no different from other films when the main character, who's supposed to be smart but is so dumb to go out alone in middle of a blizzard to check out those funny noises in the night.
Besides Watts, the rest of the cast doesn't fare much better, either, with "Room's" Tremblay, a remarkable actor so horribly misused here, that seems to be the real horror, while Heaton, seen in the popular Netflix series "Stranger Things," has the movie's worst part, and if you are awake enough to pay attention to any details, you'll see what he's up to. Character actor Oliver Platt is all over the place as a colleague who tries to no avail to help Watts' poor Mary.
"Shut In" did not screen in advance for critics, which is usually a sign of trouble, which is definitely the case here. Don't expect much with the awful snoozefest that is "Shut In" and there's plenty of better things to do with your weekend. In spite of the talented Watts, who I usually enjoy, stay away.