Netflix viewers waste their time on a dreadful haunted house mystery

shut in

What do you get when you take Daredevil and The Defenders director Farren Blackburn, Bumblebee and Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson, two-time Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, Stranger Things breakout Charlie Heaton, and child prodigy Jacob Tremblay, and throw them into a high concept blend of psychological thriller and haunted house mystery? Based on Shut In, the answer is a steaming pile of cinematic garbage.

Watts leads the ensemble as a widowed psychologist who keeps herself living as far away from other people as possible, with the car accident that claimed her husband’s life also resulting in Heaton’s stepson being rendered catatonic and utterly dependent on her for his continued survival.

When Tremblay’s young patient goes missing, Watts’ Mary soon starts to believe that not only is the child dead, but his ghost may be residing within their walls. If that still wasn’t enough, an ice storm the likes of which has never been seen before starts to rage, adding another atmospheric wrinkle. At least it would in theory, if Shut In wasn’t so godawful.

shut in

There are plenty of twists and several turns thrown in along the way, but we’d be understating things significantly to say that absolutely none of it works. A 5% Rotten Tomatoes score tells you pretty much everything you need to know about Shut In, which somehow conspires to make even the most preposterous of rug-pulls uninteresting, when the potential was definitely there for a knowingly absurd low budget midnight classic.

And yet, Netflix subscribers have been throwing 91 minutes of their time right down the train, with FlixPatrol revealing Shut In as having proven popular enough to merit a spot on the platform’s worldwide most-watched rankings, and it’s even the sixth-top title in Canada. For shame.

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Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.