By Anthony Ramirez, Laura Herrera, and Karen Martinez
“Shut In” released on November 11, 2016 falls into the categories of drama film/ thriller. It was released in more than 155,166 box offices within the United States, France and Canada. Currently the total worldwide gross is $6.7 million, ranking 7th place of the opening weekend. Director Farren Blackburn, creator of the film, won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Series in 2012 for “The Fades”. In later years direct episodes in well known television shows, such as Daredevil (2 episodes) in 2015, The Musketeers (2 episodes) in 2014, and two other episodes of Luther in 2013.
“Shut In” comes off as your typical drama/thriller movie, it contains some jump scares and a protagonist whose actions are rather predictable such as the fact that she runs towards danger rather than avoiding it. The movie starts off rather slow, attempting to carefully prepare the plot so that it does not progress too quickly, however the director’s plan backfires as the movie is far too slow and becomes rather boring. The movie only consists of a few characters who play a significantly large role in the film, Stephen (Charlie Heaton), who is the stepson of Mary, Mary (Naomi Watts) who is a psychologist that attempts to take care of Tom (Jacob Tremblay) a strange, homeless child who goes from foster home to foster home without finding loving parents. When Stephen overhears that Mary wants to take Tom in as a child of her own, Stephen becomes jealous and begins his poor attempt to slaughter the child with whatever household item he can get his hands on.
Katya Martinez, a 10th grader, describes the movie as, “A bit irritating because the mom’s actions were so stupid. For example when Stephen was attempting to kill Tom, she hit Stephen with the pan and had to perfect opportunity to end him there, instead she runs away and awaits danger to arise again.” We agree that Mary’s decisions throughout the movie were not the brightest, they led to a lot of eye rolling throughout the film. Alexis Martinez, an 11th grader, agrees with Katya, “I hate the fact that it took Mary like three attempts to kill him”, both students seem so share similar perspectives to ours, although the movie was just trying to extend the action we feel like it should have been more realistic, instead it seemed like she purposely let him recover multiple times in order to put her and Tom’s life at risk for fun.
Despite the fact that many would agree that the scariest part of the movie was a single 5 second scene in which a sole raccoon jump scares the viewer, the film does a considerably decent job creating suspense towards the middle of the movie as there are many strange and unexplainable events occurring that are later explained as the plot proceeds. Katya agrees that the movie was rather strange and not scary due to the actions of Stephen, one of the main characters. The movie ends with an extremely dissatisfying finish as it is dry and leaves the audience with a “That’s it?!” expression.
In conclusion, we feel like the movie does a good job creating suspense and a decent job in jump scaring the audience, however fear amongst the audience does not remain long enough to remember the movie as a horror film. The plot could have definitely have used more characters who impacted the storyline in a more significant way than the secondary characters did.