In the middle of nowhere america, recovering junkie Jessica (Rainey Qualley) and her two kids are just trying to make it through another day. She’s trying to clean out her grandmama’s house that needs to get on the market as soon as possible so she can move on with her life and move to Texas, where it’s cheaper to live. When her junkie ex-boyfriend Rob (Jake Horowitz) and his strung out, child molester friend Sammy (Vincent Gallo) come to visit, things turn sour when Rob locks Jessica in a pantry (that’s so old that it locks from the inside, for some reason) and she must figure out how to save her children.

Locked in, unable to aid her children, Jessica tries to parent from behind a door. Things take an even worse turn when Sammy returns to collect on a debt that Rob has. Jessica does her best to subdue him, but she’s still stuck. Unsure what to do, she turns to her grandmother’s bible for answers, which is lined with $100 (the good book will guide you). Eventually Jessica figures out that if she wants to survive, she’s going to have to go to a place she no longer belongs to.

What easily, easily could have been a story about a mom trying to get her life back from an abusive ex turns into a PAXtv rip-off of Law & Order. Religious iconography pollutes the screen and at no time is there any explanation of the hero, the woman’s desire other than to leave home, which she fails at and remains in her torture chamber only to stay at home and make a life for her family that is haunted by the ghosts of her abusers.

Directed by D.J. Caruso and written by Melanie Toast, this movie reeks of pretentious, grad school thesis film. Strong cinematography can not save this dumpster fire of a mediocre film. Produced by right-wing fascists, this film beats the viewer over the head that Jesus is the way. The lead character literally looks at a crucifix and uses it for inspiration to stigmata her capture. While Rainey does the best that she can with this garbage script, it’s not enough to make this even remotely watchable, even as a satire on christian/right wing propaganda.

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Signature Entertainment presents Shut In on Digital Platforms 30th May

Reviewed May 18, 2022 (screener provided by Signature Entertainment) Rating: Cert 15. Running time: 89 min. 

PRODUCTION: A Signature Entertainment release of a Bonfire Legend, The Daily Wire & Voltage Pictures production. Producers: Dallas Sonnier & Amanda Presnyk (p.g.a.). Executive producers: Jeremy Danial Boreing, Caleb Robinson & Ben Shapiro.

CREW: Director: D.J. Caruso. Writer: Melanie Toast. Cinematography: Akis Konstantakopoulos. Music: Mondo Boys.

CAST: Rainey Qualley, Jake Horowitz, Luciana VanDette & Vincent Gallo.

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