A Brief History
On February 10, 2022, we took advantage of the on-line (YouTube) free release of a new film, Shut In, a low budget but highly watchable and entertaining horror film. A production of The Daily Wire, a conservative media operation, the film does NOT burden you with any conservative social engineering or subtle messages, and merely entertains the viewer. Unlike much of “woke” Hollywood output, Shut In leaves politics and social issues up to the viewer and does not try to sell any particular philosophy.
Yes, we liked the movie! We are in good company, as Rotten Tomatoes reported a stunning 100% rating from their reporting critics and a 97% approval rating from audiences. Wow! And this is accomplished on a shoestring budget without flashy stars or special effects, although the acting is quite good and the effects such as they are deliver exactly the intended message. About 80,000 movie fans watched the premiere on YouTube on February 10.
Directed by D.J. Caruso, a veteran of horror, adventure and science fiction films and television episodes, the production is clearly well made despite its lack of flashy bells and whistles. The main character is played by Rainey Qualley as Jessica Nash, a former drug addict with a rotten ex-husband who in turn has an equally rotten friend. The men terrorize Jessica and her toddler daughter, and Jess ends up locked in a pantry, hence the name of the film. Plenty of tension and excitement in spite of the lack of varied sets and limited cast.
A special shout out goes to actor Vincent Gallo as Sammy, the incredibly creepy friend of Jessica’s ex. What perfect casting! Gallo is an acting veteran, active since 1981 and having appeared in numerous films and television episodes.
The movie running time is 89 minutes, and those minutes go by fast! The movie makers have done an excellent job of getting and keeping the attention of the viewer. The viewer is likely to put himself/herself in Jessica’s position and wonder, “What would I do?”
Shut In has a rating of “TV MA,” meaning young children might be disturbed by the violence and tension displayed in the movie. Additionally, any potential viewer that suffers from extreme claustrophobia should be warned that the protagonist spends a lot of time confined in small room, though bigger than a closet.
We liked the movie and are impressed with the quality of the production by an outfit outside the normal large Hollywood studio gang. While Shut In is not Jaws or Avatar, it certainly is decent entertainment and worth watching. Enjoy!
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you watched a movie on YouTube? How was your experience? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Ross, Steven. Movies and American Society. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
Sklar, Robert. Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies. Vintage; Revised & Updated edition, 1994.
The featured image in this article, scaled-down, low-resolution image of a poster for Shut In, is used in an article that provides critical commentary on the film in question on an educational website hosted on servers in the United States per fair use under the copyright law of the United States.