REVIEW: SHUT IN

CAST

Naomi Watts (King Kong)
Oliver Platt (X-Men: First Class)
Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things)
David Cubitt (Van Helsing)
Jacob Tremblay (Wonder)
Clementine Poidatz (Mars)
Alex Braunstein (Tactik)
Peter Outerbridge (Saw VI)

Steven is a troubled kid being sent to boarding school. While his father, Richard Portman, is driving him there, they get into a bad argument, and the car swerves into oncoming traffic, killing Richard and putting Steven in a vegetative state. Six months later his stepmother, Mary, is taking care of Steven’s every need. Mary is a clinical psychologist who works from home with children and adolescents. She is upset to learn that one of her patients, a deaf child named Tom, is to be transferred to a school in Boston. Later, Mary discusses Steven with her therapist, Dr. Wilson. While she feels guilty, she has decided to put Steven in a home to be cared for because he is no longer there and is just a body.She finds Tom asleep in her car. She brings him inside and makes a call, but Tom vanishes. The police conduct a fruitless search. Over the following nights, Mary wakes up to sounds in the house, and even wakes up to see Tom in the darkness one night. She discusses these events with Dr. Wilson, who attributes it to parasomnia. Dr. Wilson wants to prescribe her some medication, and orders some blood work. Doug Hart, the father of one of her patients, asks her out, but Mary declines, implying that it would be unprofessional. Mary reconsiders and has dinner with Doug. Later, Steven is missing from his bed. She finds a small door to a crawlspace, and is grabbed from inside by two small hands. The next morning, she wakes up on the floor. Steven is back in his bed, but has scratches on his face.Mary gets two offers to leave her house before an impending snow storm, one from her assistant Lucy, and another from Doug, but declines both. Dr. Wilson contacts her via Skype with her blood work results, he admonishes her because her stepson’s medication is showing up in her blood. Mary denies taking any medication and walks away without ending the call. Dr. Wilson sees Steven’s empty wheelchair, then sees Steven walk across the living room. The lights go out in the house and computer connection drops. Mary is in the basement when the lights go out. Mary sees Tom, and just then, Steven appears and knocks her out. Mary regains consciousness, only to be bound, gagged, and naked in the bathtub, with Steven bathing her. He reveals to Mary how he woke up in the hospital after the accident with her there. He didn’t move or speak so that he could relish her attention. He believes that for six months they were happy together, but then Tom arrived.It is revealed that Tom has been living in the crawlspace, rather than transfer to Boston. When Tom saw Steven moving around, Steven blocked him in the crawlspace, hoping he would starve to death. Steven was keeping her disorientated by slipping her with his medicine, allowing him to walk around at night, but also confusing her whenver she saw Tom. When Steven goes to deal with Tom, Mary unties herself and drinks the bottle of soap to vomit the medicine. Dr. Wilson is rushing to Mary’s house, but wrecks his car on the way. Mary finds Steven and Tom in the basement where Steven is planning to murder Tom, she learns that Steven killed his father on purpose. Mary and Tom escape the basement and hide in a closet.Dr. Wilson arrives to warn Mary, only to be attacked and stabbed by Steven. Mary tries to leave and discovers Doug’s dead body blocking the door, revealing Steven murdered Doug as well. Dr. Wilson, with his dying breath, advises Mary to play along with Steven’s delusion. Steven has nailed all of the doors and windows shut to prevent them from escaping, Mary breaks a skylight and pulls up Tom to climb out. Mary then plays along with Steven’s delusions until she is able to escape. Mary and Tom run to the lake, where Steven attempts to drown Tom in the freezing water. Mary grabs the hammer Steven threw down and strikes him on the head, finally killing him. Days later, Mary and Tom are seen arriving at the Child and Adoption center.Not one for the horror geeks but if you do like home-invading flicks or a bit of suspense then this is worth seeing.

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REVIEW: SAW VI

CAST

Tobin Bell (Boogeyman 2)
Costas Mandylor (Bite)
Mark Rolston (The Departed)
Betsy Russell (Knock ‘Em Dead)
Shawnee Smith (Anger Management)
Peter Outerbridge (Lucky Number Slevin)
Athena Karkanis (The Lottery)
Samantha Lemole (Legally Blonde)
Tanedra Howard (Off The Track)
George Newbern (Scandal)
Darius McCrary (Transformers)
Karen Cliche (Mutant X)
Mpho Koaho (Falling Skies)
Bahar Soomekh (Crash)

Two predatory lenders awaken on either side of a room split by a caged-in scale, wearing head harnesses with screws poised to pierce their temples. The one who sets more flesh weight upon their tray will survive. Eddie cuts fat from his torso, but Simone chops off her arm, and Eddie is killed when the timer expires. As he reviews the game’s footage, Detective Lieutenant Mark Hoffman is called to the scene by FBI Agent Dan Erickson, who has found Peter Strahm’s fingerprints. Also present is Lindsey Perez, whose survival was covered up by Erickson for her protection. They learn from Dr. Adam Heffner, the coroner who performed all of the autopsies for the case thus far, that the knife used to cut the jigsaw piece from Eddie’s flesh was only used once before, on Seth Baxter. The agents intend to find the Baxter videotape to prove Strahm’s involvement.While at the hospital to meet with Simone, Hoffman is met by reporter Pamela Jenkins, who claims to have found something at the meatpacking plant. He later meets with Jill Tuck at her clinic and takes control of the games, and is given five envelopes from the box left to her in John Kramer’s will, each containing photos of people to be tested. After he leaves, a flashback reveals that Kramer brought Amanda Young to Jill, who had deemed her a lost cause, as proof of his methods. A later flashback, as Jill delivers a package from the box to the hospital, shows that Jill met with Kramer at the plant hours before his death, where he gave her the box’s key and his promise that she would be protected when the games ended.William Easton, an insurance executive for Umbrella Health, meets with Debbie, the company’s attorney, about Harold Abbott, who succumbed to heart disease after his coverage request was denied due to an application discrepancy. Hoffman abducts Easton from his office that night and brings him to an abandoned zoo, where he and his janitor, Hank, awaken in vises designed to tighten around their torsos each time they breathe into oxygen masks strapped to their faces. Kramer himself appears in a videotape and informs Easton that he has one hour to complete four tests and remove the bombs strapped to his limbs, or he will lose his family. Hank, a heavy smoker, is unable to hold his breath for long and is killed by the vise. Easton’s other tests force him to save his workers from traps, including a hanging room, a steam room, and a carousel. It is shown that Kramer met Easton at the opening of Jill’s clinic and took issue with his formula. After his cancer was diagnosed, Kramer’s coverage request for an experimental Norwegian treatment was rejected by Easton.The game is viewed by a woman named Tara and her son Brent from a cage below the observation room, which contains a tank of hydrofluoric acid and a switch marked “Live” and “Die”. Pamela awakens in another cage on the other side of the room. During the game, Hoffman is called away by Erickson and Perez, who found the Baxter videotape and are having it unscrambled by an offsite technician. They inform him that abnormalities were found in Strahm’s fingerprints, and Erickson eventually reveals their knowledge of Strahm’s death. The moment his voice is unscrambled, Hoffman attacks and kills everyone in the room, plants fingerprints using Strahm’s severed hand, and lights the room on fire to destroy the evidence.He returns to the observation room and finds the letter he’d written to Amanda, in which he’d used his knowledge of her role in Jill’s miscarriage to blackmail her into killing Lynn Denlon. The letter was found by Pamela and given to Jill, who uses it to ambush Hoffman as Easton reaches the end of his path with one second left, finding himself between the cages. It is revealed that Pamela is his sister, while Tara and Brent are Harold’s family. Tara is informed by a videotape of Kramer that she can either kill Easton or free him using the switch; when she is unable to make a decision, Brent angrily shifts the switch and a bed of needles swings down and injects Easton’s body with the acid, killing him. Jill restrains Hoffman and locks a new reverse bear trap to his head. She shows him the sixth envelope, which contains his photo, and leaves him with 45 seconds but no key. Hoffman escapes by breaking his hand and jamming the trap as it activates, and he pulls his head free, ripping open his cheek.Overall, Saw VI was incredibly well done. The story and pacing was perfect. The acting from the main cast (Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Costas Mandylor, Shawnee Smith, and Peter Outerbridge) was great. The traps were disturbing as hell.  Saw VI Director Kevin Greutert (editor of the first five installments) really did an astounding job.