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"SHUT IN"
(2016) (Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt) (PG-13)


Read Our Full Content Movie Review for Parents

QUICK TAKE:
Thriller: A clinical psychologist fears she is losing her mind while caring for her near-comatose stepson while possibly being terrorized by another young boy.
PLOT:
Mary (NAOMI WATTS) is a clinical psychologist living in rural Maine. Tragedy has struck her life recently when a car accident claimed the life of her husband and rendered her stepson, Stephen (CHARLIE HEATON), brain-damaged and near comatose. She cares for him out of her home, which also doubles as an office for her counseling practice.

Her specialty is helping emotionally disturbed and troubled children and teens. One of her patients is a nine-year-old, hearing impaired boy named Tom (JACOB TREMBLAY), who eventually runs away from his care facility to hide in her garage. He then runs away from Mary and disappears altogether.

Not long after, Mary starts having nightmares and visions of the boy stalking her in her own home and of Stephen walking around. Her therapist, Dr. Wilson (OLIVER PLATT), believes she is suffering from sleep deprivation and counsels her via video chat. Meanwhile, she shares an attraction with Doug (DAVID CUBITT), the father of one of her patients. With plans to send Stephen to a care facility, she hopes to move on. But will she let herself? Or is there someone really stalking her?

OUR TAKE:3 out of 10
For films not screened for the reviewing press, we only provide a few paragraphs of critical analysis.

"Shut In" may be the perfect title for this film. That's because I felt "shut in" while watching it! I was there to do a job and couldn't leave. But, man, I sure wanted to. The first half of this suspense thriller is actually pretty good. A clinical psychologist named Mary (Naomi Watts, giving it her absolute all) has lost her husband in a car crash that also rendered her stepson, Stephen (Charlie Heaton of "Stranger Things), brain-damaged and near comatose. She has continued with her home-based practice in rural Maine, though, helping troubled teens and children work through their issues.

One such kid is Tom, played by Jacob Tremblay of "Room," a hearing impaired boy with violent tendencies who runs away from his foster care to Mary's remote house in Maine, then runs away from her when he senses he is headed back to a facility. Mary then starts having weird nightmares that the boy's ghost may or may not be stalking her. She even envisions Stephen being mobile again. One morning, he even has scratches on his face. Did she do it? Is Tom back? Is she imagining it all? Then, a major snowstorm hits and she is truly shut in.

The set-up for this film is decent. It's how it all plays out that is both dull and preposterous at the same time. Without giving anything away, I didn't buy the twist. I didn't fear the killer once revealed. And the movie really could've been over in about a minute of screen time if Mary isn't turned into a complete idiot by the screenplay. Instead, the climax of this film goes on and on and on for what seems like at least a half hour, with a stalker slowly stalking his prey throughout a dimly lit home and then out into the snowy woods.

It's tedious with a capital "T." And the waste of talent here -- Oliver Platt is also in this thing, appearing about 90 percent via video chat -- is truly sad. Even the promise of Naomi Watts' nudity is mishandled. Oh, she's naked, fellow horn-dogs. But it's one scene, and she's vomiting into a toilet. I guess there was only so much of the script she could take. I give it a 3 out of 10. (T. Durgin)




Reviewed November 11, 2016 / Posted November 11, 2016


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