Shut In – France, 2016 – reviews

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Shut In is a 2016 English-language French psychological thriller film directed by Farren Blackburn from a screenplay by Christina Hodson. It was produced by Luc Besson for Lava Bear Films and EuropaCorp.

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Main cast:

Naomi Watts (Funny GamesKing Kong; The Ring and sequel), Oliver Platt (The Master Cleanse; Lake Placid); Flatliners), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), David Cubitt and Jacob Tremblay (Before I Wake).

Plot:

A widowed child psychologist (Watts) lives an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“If you like suspenseful thrillers with compelling developments and white-knuckle tension, well, you won’t find that here. If, on the other hand, you like droning slow burns that obliterate common sense with ludicrous twists that defy rational explanation, then by all means shut yourself in with Shut In.” Eric Walkuski, Joblo.com

“Watts gives her all to this overheated nonsense, but is powerless to make emotional sense of what turns out to be the story’s twisted central relationship, and ends up being just another fiercely maternal damsel in distress. By the end, Stephen’s catatonia seems enviable.” Mike D’Angelo, A.V. Club

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“Neither its director, Farren Blackburn, nor his screenwriter, Christina Hodson, could have believed that this bromidic nonsense would generate chills. Careening camera angles and squeak-creak-crackle sound effects don’t substitute for actual tension, and high-end cinematography … doesn’t replace imagination. Ms. Watts deserves better, and so do you.” Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, scads of cliches appeared on the horizon. As thrillers go, Shut In is conspicuously short of thrills. It’s an undistinguished and predictable hodgepodge, so blandly generic as to suggest that it was cobbled together by filmmakers referencing a how-to handbook who picked spare parts from other, better thrillers.” Joe Leydon, Variety

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“Director Farren Blackburn piles on the cheap jump scares, like a raccoon suddenly appearing amid a jarring burst of noise that threatens to blow out the theater speakers. But the filmmaker is unable to overcome the inadequacies of Christina Hodson’s script, whose surprise revelation we spot from a mile away.”Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

” …the kind of lazy genre hackwork that will inspire more yawns than screams—at least until the final reels, when the sounds of incredulous laughter will no doubt take over.” Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com

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Filming locations:

Sutton, Quebec, Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Release:

The film was released theatrically in North America on November 11, 2016.

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