Naomi Watts is at the heart of the new horror/thriller Shut In, a story which critics have suggested isn’t very thrilling at all. As a closer look attempts to unveil why the Farren Blackburn-directed film falls short of so many expectations, Watts dutifully steps out to promote Shut In, doing all she can to portray the thriller in the best possible light.
Can the critics all be wrong?
If not, the blame can’t be laid at the feet of the actors. Naomi’s infectious excitement for Shut In is only paralleled by her praise for her co-star, 10-year-old Jacob Tremblay.
What Is Shut In All About?
Variety is but one of many offering a less than flattering review of Shut In, but, in writing of the Naomi Watts-driven thriller, the reviewer, Joe Leydon, suggests that much of the blame be placed on director Farren Blackburn and the Shut In writer, Christina Hodson. Even their treatment of the story may have been altered, however, because the film’s credits list that additional crew members are responsible for reshoots. In the end, Shut In may have been sabotaged by too many hands tinkering with a story that probably worked best as originally intended.
Shut In tells the story of Mary Portman, played by Naomi Watts, who is a child psychologist and a rather clingy mother to her 18-year-old son, Stephen, played by Stranger Things‘ Charlie Heaton. Left paralyzed in an accident that killed his father, Stephen is dependent upon Mary’s constant presence. The dynamic of this mother/son pair is disrupted, as one of Mary’s clients, Tom (Jacob Tremblay), goes missing and stirs a statewide hunt for the boy.
Meanwhile, paranormal events in the Portman household begin to wake Watts’ Shut In character to the possibility that something more may be going on. Reviews suggest moviegoers brave enough to give Shut In a chance may expect typical scares with themes reiterated over and over throughout some of our most classic horror films, such as Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.
The one outstanding praise given in reference to Shut In naturally concerns Watts herself, who, once again, delivers a compelling and believable performance as an overbearing mother and a devoted child therapist. Naomi may be the saving grace for Shut In, giving her fans and thriller addicts good reason to hit the theaters for her latest project.
Naomi Watts Praises Her Shut In Co-Stars And Reveals What It Has Been Like To Follow Her Dreams
Speaking to CNN, Naomi Watts hinted that she may not experience Shut In for many years, if ever, as a member of its audience. Watts says she rarely watches her own films, and when she does, it’s almost always a long time since the release. The Shut In star says she prefers to distance herself from the project before watching the finished film, because she finds that letting the experience of making the movie slip from her mind helps her to really appreciate the magic of the story.
“When I like to watch, it is like years and years later when you stumble across it on TV and you think, ‘Oh, wow!’ Because then you’ve forgotten about the experience that went with it,” Watts said. “The distance creates a whole new experience.”
Now, while Shut In is still fresh in her mind, Watts seems most impressed with one co-star in particular, the young child actor Jacob Tremblay, who Naomi says was very focused on what he was doing. Watts points out that Jacob was interested in performing well, adding that his talent is matched by his dedication.
Upon completing Shut In, Ms. Watts returned to her New York home, where she continues to work on a new project, Netflix’s Gypsy. While acting and parenting don’t always go hand in hand, Ms. Watts, who recently separated from her long-time partner, Liev Schreiber, revealed that filming in New York is great, because it allows her to spend more time with her children.
While Naomi Watts may have taken longer to get started with her career than some actresses, she has over 50 credits to her name and an ever-growing presence in Hollywood. Still, she wishes she would have trusted her instincts sooner.
“I took some diversions in my career before getting to acting and, I guess, I didn’t have enough faith in myself,” Shut In‘s Naomi Watts said. “Trust that your dream is there for a reason.”
Shut In is currently showing in theaters.
[Featured Image by EuropaCorp]