Quick Hit: A decent idea with a terrible amount of red herrings and false thrills.
This movie is another that had a decent potential. Starring Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay (Room), it also has one of the Stranger Things stars (the emo like one that gets essentially friend zoned at the end). I thought the ideas presented were decent, but there was a major problem – everything was over telegraphed and easily figured out.
Take this definition from Roger Ebert, who gave us the famous “Law of the Economy of Characters”:
Law of Economy of Characters
Movie budgets make it impossible for any film to contain unnecessary characters. Therefore, all
characters in a movie are necessary to the story—even those who do not seem to be. Sophisticated viewers can use this Law to deduce the identity of a person being kept secret by the movie's plot: This "mystery" person is always the only character in the movie who seems otherwise extraneous.
It essentially means that there are only so many characters in a movie, so if you are used to films, it’s easy to figure out. Despite the fact that the film continually gives us characters who serve literally no purpose (essentially trying to circumvent the Law – always a valiant effort but really tough to do), it’s painstakingly obvious who it is. The only thing that is remotely thrilling is the ideas about young Tremblay’s character – is he alive or dead? Who knows? Maybe he’s just a Casper, maybe Naomi Watts has been crazy from the beginning.
Let’s not think about the fact that the “reveal” is entirely ridiculous and almost funny. The idea that the driver for all the violence in this film is who it is is an interesting idea, but kind of strange when you consider it all. I won’t give it away for interested parties, but come on – you can figure it out.
Coupled with this terrible reveal, there is also the fact that the filmmakers really, really want us to know that it is going to snow (hence the title).Over and over we are given a weather forecast, and over and over the same things are said – it’s gonna snow. A lot. It almost makes me think of a poor man’s The Shining.
Despite all these setbacks, the acting is solid for the cast. Tremblay is good, especially with so little dialogue. Naomi Watts is given a few times to actually act, but it’s pretty worthless in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, this movie isn’t good. It’s boring, takes a really long time to get going, and is ridiculous once it does. I’m going to give Shut In a “D”.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"