LAFF Review: Shut In

LAFF Review: Shut In

Shut In

directed by Adam Schindler

starring Beth Reisgraf, Rory Culkin, Martin Starr

**½ out of 4 stars


Here’s an indie thriller that delivers on the late night chills, despite lack of logic, and some underwritten characters. The films opens on Anna(Beth Reisgraf), a rapid agoraphobic who hasn’t left her big-old house in over a decade, tending to her bed-ridden brother, and seems to receive her meals from a delivery boy(Rory Culkin, where’ve you been?) with secrets of his own. When her brother dies,  she still can’t manage to face her fears to go to her brother’s funeral, or even when three intruders(Martin Starr, Jack Kesy, Joshua Mikel) show up with intentions I won’t give away.

Since Anna can’t walk outside without losing her shit, she hides away in one of her house’s many unusual hidden rooms. So far, sort of Panic Room. But Adam Schindler and screenwriters T.J. Cimfel and David White have cooked up a different kind of claustrophobic horror, as the crooks find themselves in a makeshift death maze, with Anna controlling the whole show from a remote, making her the real terror and not the victim to these assholes. It quickly becomes clear that Anna might have another psychosis.

I’ll say no more, except that the entire sequence of the guys locked in the basement is brutally hilarious, expertly guided by every line delivered from a top-notch Martin Starr, who gives the “psycho of the group” killer new dimensions. And Beth Reisgraf gives the tricky role of Anna a feminists charge worth rooting for. Even if you don’t believe a word of it by morning, Shut In dishes out the laughs and scares.

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