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Shut In (2016)

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A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.


1,953 ( 343)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Wilson
Ellen David ...
Anton Chevrier ...
Stephen 5 years old
Thomas Macedo ...
Stephen 9 years old


A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some fears can't be shut out See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror and some violence/bloody images, nudity, thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 November 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Presencia siniestra  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,700,000 (USA) (11 November 2016)


$6,883,951 (USA) (23 December 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2013 Blacklist, a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »


When Mary and Tom are on the boat dock, despite the weather being well below freezing, you can't see their breath. See more »


[first lines]
Doug: Hey. It's going to be okay.
Richard: Just tell me we're doing the right thing.
Doug: No, sweetheart, I know you want to fix this. It's what you do. But we've tried. All right? We've been trying and look where it's gotten us.
[looking over at their son waiting in the car]
Doug: And I think the space is gonna be good for him. For all of us. Besides, it's a good school. He'll be home by the end of the summer.
See more »


Referenced in Half in the Bag: Annabelle Creation (2017) See more »


Hush Little Baby
Public Domain
See more »

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User Reviews

"Shut In" is an entertaining thriller... for those who can look past its basic ridiculousness.
11 November 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It has to be very difficult to care for a shut-in, especially when you're doing it by yourself, and even more so when you live in the middle of nowhere. You have very little support (physically or emotionally), which means you're probably very lonely, overworked, frustrated, you can't easily go out much and you don't have much of a life to call your own. Even if you love the person you're taking care of (as most, if not all caregivers do), it has to be extremely tough. That's the set-up for "Shut In" (PG-13, 1:31).

Oscar nominee Naomi Watts stars as Mary Portman, a family psychologist who's unable to help Stephen (Charlie Heaton), her troubled teenage stepson, get past his (unexplained) inner turmoil. When Stephen gets expelled from school (for reasons also not explained), Mary and her husband make the very difficult but necessary decision to send him off to a special boarding school. On the way to that school, a car accident kills Stephen's father and leaves Stephen in a catatonic state, with Mary as his sole caregiver.

Mary loves her stepson and does her best with him, but she also has to keep working. After feeding, bathing and dressing Stephen each morning, she sets him up in front of the television and walks over to her office in a small building right next to her house in rural Maine. One of her patients is a young orphan named Tom (Jacob Tremblay), who is nearly deaf and doesn't speak. When Tom finds out that his caregiver is planning to send him to Boston, he runs away and shows up back at Mary's house.

Before Mary can get Tom's caregiver to come out to her place and pick him up, Tom disappears. As that cold Maine winter day turns into an even colder night, Mary and those helping to search for Tom fear the worst. Mary starts "seeing" Tom in her bedroom at night and actually starts thinking that he has died and his ghost is haunting her. Mary has a psychiatrist (Oliver Platt) who tries to reason with her and offers to prescribe sleep medication, until he learns there's something about Mary that he didn't know.

"Shut In" is an entertaining thriller… if you can look past the many plot holes in Christina Hodson's script and inconsistencies in Farren Blackburn's directing. There are numerous basic questions left unanswered (like those examples mentioned above and others like why, in the midst of a winter storm, there's no ice on Mary's pond) and some characters' actions don't make sense in light of their motivations. The twists are cool, but the acting is shaky and the plot is simplistic and contrived. "C+"

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