The reviews of Daniel Farriol:
Shut In it is thriller American led by DJ Caruso (I’m number four, Disturbia) with script written by Melanie Toast (rabbit rabbit rabbit). The story follows a young mother who gets locked in a pantry and must use her ingenuity to protect her two young children while she searches for a way out. It is starring Rainey Qualley (Ultrasound Perfect), Jake Horowitz (Agnes, The Vast of Night), Luciana VanDette, Vincent Gallo (The legend of Kaspar Hauser, Tetro), Penelope Martone, Mahboub Hosseinzadeh Y Aidan Steiner. The film can be seen at Movistar+ from August 13, 2022.
alone in the pantry
Shut In part of an interesting premise that seeks the origin of suspense in the claustrophobia of small spaces to tell a story of overcoming and survival. In this case, we have Jessica (Rainey Qualley, daughter of Andie McDowell and sister of Margaret Qualey), a rehabilitated former drug addict who must leave the house she has inherited from her aunt as she cannot bear the costs of maintaining it. On the day of her departure, while she is packing her belongings with her daughter Lainey (Luciana VanDette) and her baby Mason, she gets locked in a small pantry.
The arrival at the house of her ex-partner, Rob (Jake Horowitz), an unstable man still addicted to drugs who arrives with an even more dangerous friend who was accused of pederasty, Sammy (Vincent Gallo), ends up being a transitory solution that allows her to get out of confinement, but due to the effect of the intoxication that both of them carry and also because of the spite of having broken up with him, Rob locks her up again in the same place, taking her mobile and nailing some wooden planks in the door that make it even more difficult for the girl to get out of there. In her confinement, she must try to continue taking care of her children, protecting them from Sammy’s harassment and at the same time looking for a way out to escape together.
From lockdown to home invasion more predictable
Thus, the idea of confinement taken to the extreme in Buried (Rodrigo Cortes2010), The tube (Meandre) (Mathieu Turi2021) or Oxygen (Alexandre Ajar, 2021), is in Shut In slightly softened by placing the protagonist in a pantry with food (butter/apple jam jars) and some utensils that allow her to look for options to get out, although to enhance the drama of the situation she has a wound on her right hand that is start to infect. The film would be more along the lines of the panic room (David Fincher2002), combining the desperation of confinement with a home invasion that endangers their children with the appearance of the character of the pederast.
The address of DJ Caruso It begins being reliable, with some first sequences that use images of anticipation (boards, apples, pantry door…) for what is coming, and good handling of small spaces during the first moments of confinement. There is a certain obsession with Catholic iconography as a symbol for hope and faith in escaping, hence the presence in the pantry of a crucifix and a bible (which will literally offer a way out), but it is also an unsubtle way of to show the inner struggle that the woman wages in order not to fall into the temptation of consuming the drug that she has at hand. They are capricious details that do not have a narrative continuity, since at no time will we know what the religious beliefs of the protagonist are.
The Apple Metaphor
The problem of Shut In comes especially in its final half, where the screenwriter Melanie Toast he loses focus and immerses himself in the usual tropes of any tabletop TV movie with some overacted “bad guys” who behave erratically and illogically. At the end of the viewing of the film we will only have the hard-working interpretation of Rainey Qualleythe appearance of Vincent Gallo after years of absence from the cinema, some suggestive detail of the staging (the moment of “rebirth” with the girl emerging from the pantry as if through an amniotic sac), the screwdriver sequence or that obvious metaphor about apples applied to life in which you have to remove the rotten part to make a better jam with the ripened one.
What do you think of the movie?