"Shut In" disappoints horror fans

This past Friday, “Shut In,” a bland thriller, premiered to give its audience a couple of spooks that borrowed from other classic films, but left viewers wondering why they didn’t stay home and watch some reruns on Bravo instead.
Psychologist Mary Portman (Naomi Watts) is left distraught as she has to deal with the aftermath of a fatal car accident that left her a widow and with a paralyzed step-son to take care of. The beginning plotline consists of her bathing and taking care of her son, Steven, played by Charlie Heaton, also known as the aspiring photographer Jonathon Byers from Netflix’s popular “Stranger Things.”
Alone in a New England frosty setting, the cinematography is brightly done which detracts from the all impending doom that is following Portman. She begins hallucinating sounds that go bump in the night, but also begins to formulate visuals of a young foster child, Tom, a previous patient of Portman’s, that has unexpectedly shown up at her secluded house in the woods one night, but goes missing in a heartbeat.
With the stress of making the decision to cease her guardianship duties and the pending fact of not knowing what happened to Tom, Portman starts having continuous nightmares about figures during the night, and she begins to believe paranormal activities are occurring in her household.
Her shrink, Dr. Wilson (Oliver Pratt), Skypes with her to assure her that what she is beginning to think is reality is in fact “parasomnia,” a sleep disorder that involves abnormal movements, behaviors, dreams, and perceptions. The twist that entails does leave one stunned, but soon that shock factor fades away.
Full of short thrills, the hour and a half movie doesn’t provide enough substance or even background information for why things are occurring the way they are. Steven is abruptly pushed on us as the crazed, obsessive archetype, but we aren’t sure why he is.
How did he all of a sudden become mobile? How did Tom not succumb to hypothermia in the cold of Maine during winter?
So many questions…so little answered.
The almost incestuous fascination he has with his stepmom is the creepiest part about the entire ordeal, but there needed to be more elements to this “thriller.”
Starring in other suspenseful movies such as “The Ring” and “Mulholland Drive,”  Watts definitely knew how to play the part of the distressed character and gave this movie the extra oomph it needed.
It’s quite a surprise this Academy Award nominated actress would sign on to do a movie so mild. The other characters such as Dr. Wilson, who is shown conversing with Portland half the movie, demonstrates believable distress that got you swerving around your seat a little.
The attempt to provoke wonder and fear for the audience member watching this film did work initially. Perhaps the first half hour as curiosity swept in. The problem is that the curiosity ends, as there isn’t too much going on in the film. At least nothing you haven’t seen yet in the thriller genre.
This cabin fever/psychoneurosis film doesn’t do anyone justice. Perhaps you could stay home, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and watch some B-horror films on Netflix instead if you dare think about purchasing a ticket to this failure.