Shut In (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Shut In (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on April 27th, 2022 | Movie Review | Home Invasion, Psychological, Single Mom, Confined, Dysfunctional Family, Maniac

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A young single mother is held captive along with her two children by a violent ex and must plot their escape before it’s too late.

If you’ve been as curious as everyone else what a horror-thriller film from The Daily Wire might possibly be like, then 2022’s Shut In is likely already on your list of curiosities to check out when you have a spare hour and a half. Directed by DJ Caruso and written by Melanie Toast, Shut In stars Rainey Qualley, Vincent Gallo, Jake Horowitz, and Luciana VanDette. But does it actually deliver, especially for diehard horror genre fans who wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves the target audience of The Daily Wire?

The will to live is found within

Shut In (2022) Review

Shut In is a low-budget indie film, to be sure, and you can tell that right away once you’re made aware of the small cast and limited setting. (The vast majority of the film takes place within a single room.) But exceptional talent like Rainey Qualley makes it sound promising enough, to be sure.

Shut In is the story of former drug addict Jessica (Qualley). Jessica is recently separated from her addicted ex, Rob (Horowitz), and mother to an infant boy, as well as a toddler named Lainey (VanDette). She’s also in the process of fixing up her recently-deceased mother’s rundown home so she can put it on the market and make a fresh start somewhere new. However, as any good horror fan would guess, things naturally don’t go quite as planned.

It all starts when Jessica winds up stuck in the oversized pantry with no way to get out, as Lainey is much too little to help. But, it isn’t long before the volatile Rob happens by with his suspected child molester friend Sammy (Gallo) to let her out. After Jessica informs Rob that she’ll be moving away soon with the kids, Rob and Sammy take her phone, force her back into the pantry, and nail the door shut, leaving her trapped inside once more.

However, Jessica isn’t alone in the house for long. Eventually, she and her young children have company all over again, and this time it isn’t Rob. As stated, Shut In features a single setting and only a few characters, and that’s either something you like in a film, or it’s not. But the team of Caruso and Toast do an excellent job of using both limitations wisely.

Rainey Qualley is absolutely amazing in her role and indeed carries the film. She does an incredible job of showing the audience that Jessica is more than just a young mom who is temporarily trapped in a bad situation. She’s also a human being trying very hard to turn over a new leaf and escape her past. Horowitz and Gallo also turn in terrific supporting performances.

And if you’re worried that Shut In’s connection to The Daily Wire means it’s too saturated in right-wing propaganda to be watchable if you don’t happen to be right-wing yourself, you can stop worrying. Although the film does feel at times like it’s being very careful not to potentially offend its likely audience, it’s a reasonably solid, highly watchable effort regardless. A stunning lead performance and noteworthy finishing touches – like the sound design, to name just one – make Shut In worth seeing, whether it’s too careful or not.

Worth Watching?

All in all, Shut In probably isn’t going to blow your hair back as far as being scary or even ground-breaking. However, it’s definitely entertaining, not to mention a really decent first effort for a brand new production company. It certainly makes great use of a small budget and limited resources.

Although the film will likely appear on other streaming services eventually, it’s currently available exclusively for members at The Daily Wire. Check it out some night you’re in the mood for something small, suspenseful, and poignant.

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