There are a few obvious comparisons to make between the classic 2002 thriller “Panic Room” and Daily Wire’s new film, “Shut In.” Both movies deal with the claustrophobic paranoia of being trapped in small spaces. Both include violations by unwanted intruders into personal residences, which is especially terrifying because your home should be where you feel safest. Finally, both “Panic Room” and “Shut In” highlight the strength of mothers willing to do anything to protect their children.
The one thing that makes “Shut In” infinitely more terrifying is the sense of helplessness the main character Jessica (Rainey Qualley) feels being locked in a room with her children on the outside of the door. This terror is compounded by the fact that her junkie ex-boyfriend Rob (Jake Horowitz) and his pusher Sammy (Vincent Gallo), a child molester, are on the opposite side of the door.
Jessica is a recovering drug addict who is planning to start a new life with her two young children before her ex arrives and throws everything into flux. The desperate mom must draw upon inner strength she doesn’t even know she has to escape her situation and keep her children safe.
“Panic Room,” meanwhile, also conveys a sense of urgency but in a different way. The mom in that movie, Meg Altman (Jodie Foster), hides from intruders inside a fortress-style panic room that’s built into a new home she purchased. She’s in there with her 11-year-old daughter, Meg, who is diabetic.
But here the two films also deviate in messaging. While “Panic Room” is a pretty standard psychological thriller, “Shut In” goes deeper and reveals itself as a redemption story about a mother fighting her own inner demons just as much as she’s battling the external threats to safety.
As an added twist, Jessica’s ex drops a baggie of drugs into the pantry with her, which forces the mom to resist temptation and stay strong for her children. The film becomes about much more than just a woman escaping an abusive ex and a dangerous physical situation. It tackles a basic truth of humanity: that each of us are confronted with hard choices every day and must keep striving to stay on a path to goodness.
A review from Bounding Into Comics writer Slade Hale said of the story, “[Jessica’s] relationship with little daughter Lainey is a big part of the overall story, with the latter serving as an anchor to keep Jessica in the here and now. By encouraging Lainey to step up and play the part of mommy for one terrifying day, Jessica is forced to look within, and remind herself of what it means to be a responsible parent.”
Both the heroine in “Panic Room” and Jessica in “Shut In” must choose to put their children’s needs and safety above their own, which is a testament to being a good parent. However, “Shut In” ultimately takes viewers on an even deeper exploration into the mind of a woman who must rely on herself to survive, and ultimately to remind herself that she too is worth saving.
“The message is a strong one, and the way Jessica faces down her own demons is a model for parents battling the specter of addiction, while trying to stay clean for the sake of their children,” Hale concludes.
“Shut In” goes beyond a typical psychological thriller in so many ways and succeeds in telling an unforgettable story.
The Daily Wire’s first original film, Shut In, will be premiering on Thursday, February 10th at 9 p.m. ET on YouTube. Following the premiere, Shut In will be available exclusively to Daily Wire members. Click here to watch, and be sure to hit that “Set reminder” button so you don’t miss the premiere!