Thrillers that have any kind of horror associations are not my cup of tea. A good thriller with a good plot always is, and so checking out Shut In was a must. With a slow pace setting things up, all that I had to figure out was if it’d end up being a good watch or not.

Shut In (2022) Film Review

Unable to afford the living conditions and also looking for a fresh start Jessica (Rainey Qualley) is packing up to leave. Leaving her nana’s house behind she makes plans to head to Texas where she has an aunt. But this morning, Jess is more than a little frustrated by the many questions her young daughter Lainey is asking. Between Lainey, packing up the house and trying to keep her youngest fed, Jess wants some quiet. When she accidentally locks herself in the kitchen pantry, she is forced to have her wayward and drug addict ex (Jake Horowitz) get her out. But his arrival sets into motion a series of events that forces Jess to fight for her life.


Like I said, going into this I didn’t know what to expect. I’m not a “terror” (genre) movie person and so I wasn’t sure if this would lean into that or more of the typical thriller angle. Then, seeing the rating of the film made me pause again. Turns out, the film is really neither and is instead a hybrid of things that works together in a way that entertains. One of the ways it does this is by being a film rich in analogy and yes, even a moment that made me tear up.


The film is full of performers I’m unfamiliar with, but all are good. Rainey (who is also Andie McDowell’s daughter) is excellent as, essentially, the sole leading character who has to carry each scene given most are on her own. The supporting cast is also good, and even the young actress who plays Lainey is good. Director of multiple fun Hollywood films (I am Number Four, xXx), D.J. Caruso directs, a man who most recently directed Redeeming Love. Everything in the department of acting and behind the camera is good. Now for themes…

Penned by a first time writer, Melanie Toast, this story is all about symbolism. That said, it’s not the kind that annoys as so many allegory films do. Instead this is more subtle and instead of preaching “at” us, it’s more about subtlety and showing through the journey Jessica goes through. She’s someone with a broken wing who’s trying to make a better future. We learn, from the conversation about her past, her battles to make a choice each day to stay in the present. To be in that present for her kids – and her. It’s not only this battle, but also her learning to be in this present and loving the people who now rely on her.

This is, without question, a top line movie. It surprises me in multiple ways. The message is both heartbreaking and in many places, truthful; it’s also very culturally apropos. It doesn’t shy away from fear, and the fact that Jessica is locked in a room ups the ante times ten; her fear for her kids is heightened because she has no way of knowing or seeing what happens. We also cannot see anything. Additionally, some of the ways that the shots show this helps to raise fear.

All in all, Shut In is brilliant. It’s worth a watch and despite its more serious themes, it does everything in a way that adds to the plot rather than working for shock value.

At this time, the only place you can find Shut In is exclusively with a Daily Wire subscription.


‘SHUT IN’: A HIGH INTENSITY BUT SLOWER PACE REDEMPTIVE THRILLER. A review of the Daily Wire's first original film. All text is © Rissi JC

Content: This is mostly about the “intense” fear for Jess. She’s locked away, unable to do anything and fearing for her kids. There’s a scene of her stabbing a man (self-defense); someone holds a knife on a child who is crying in fear; a man is shot (off screen though later you see the prone body); nearer the end, another person goes out a window (you do see the body in the aftermath). Drug abuse is part of the story and we see someone shot up, and someone make preparations to get high. Conversation also revolves around child abuse/molestation. There’s two f-words; uses of sh*t, etc. The film is TV-MA.

Photos: Daily Wire / Bonfire Legend

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


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