Shutter Island Does Not Even Attempt To Thrill or Scare
Going through and reading a little about Shutter Island you may think that this is some prime classic novel that has just been sitting around with some huge fan base gnawing at the bit to see the thing put on the big screen. The rumors are that Wolfgang Peterson wanted to turn it into some action spectacle, then David Fincher was attached because he is usually attached to everything at one point. Brad Pitt was going to do it, Mary Mark was going to do it. The who’s who of who’s who wanted to make this film, but not enough to try really hard to get it made. So we are left with probably the wrong director and ok casted lead actor for the movie, in a movie that has no good reason to have been made in the first place.
Back to this movie being based off of a book, what producer (Laeta Kalogridis, who wrote the screenplay and was one of the executive producers on Avatar) thought that this movie just HAD TO GET made? Looking at Laeta’s writing career its two failed TV shows (Bionic Women and Birds of Prey), co-scriping (from a novel that actually had a rabid fan base looking for their book to be made into a movie) Nightwatch, Pathfinder and Alexander. Its an interesting group of work. Had this come out a year after Avatar I would say that she had the money to blow to do whatever she wanted to. So at least with all those projects (TV show choices withholding) each one seemed like it was going to be something new and interesting weather they ended up that way or not is up to you, but you could see where the projects would be good source material. So why the hard on to get this lame phycological (I use that in the least sense of the word) movie made?
*UPDATE: Having looked more into this fact I see that the book was written by Dennis Lehane who wrote the books: Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone. He was also a producer on the movie, so now its not that hard to see why it got made.
Next I want to bring up the director, Martin Scorsese. Had this movie been directed by ANY and I mean ANY! other director (that includes Spielberg) it would have been instantly dismissed (but maybe a tad more exciting). Same with Leo, he’s fine in the movie but its nothing special I will probably forget about his performance by the end of this sentence. So I think its time for this actor and director to part ways because they have lost sight of what an interesting film is, and they should have known better then to have made this. Sure maybe Scorsese wanted to do a horror film, he could have waited for a more interesting idea that hasn’t been covered a million times and much better and more effectively before.
It makes perfect sense now why this movie was pushed back from its pre Christmas release date, in hopes of an Oscar run, because even pitted against the weakest of the Oscar bait movies (The Lovely Bones) its laughably bad. Paramount made the smart move and threw it in February where crappy horror movies have had a good run at the box office recently, so instead of get laughed at in the midst of a bunch of Award caliber movies Paramount decided to slop it in with all the other movies right now in hopes that the critics would take kindly to it and people would come out just because its Marty.
What is there to like about the movie? Well I hope all the technical people were paid handsomely because the movie looks really nice for what it is, but if this thing cost less then $20 million (which it no doubt did) then it failed. There was no reason for this sort of film to look this nice, horror/thriller films are not suppose to look BRAND NEW. Another movie that’s similar to this and is much more effective in terms of chills, scares and psychological drama is Session 9, and I think that movie cost 10 bucks to make? I wonder how many people outside of the director/producers knew the WHOLE script because I bet a bunch of people thought that they were making something special.
This is easily Martin Scorsese worst film, mainly just because it’s just so bland and ineffective. The movie has a minimal sense of style that can be seen in any other no name directors attempt to remake an Asian horror film, the acting is stuff we’ve seen before (and better) from every actor involved, and the lame TWIST of an end is just the final nail in the coffin.
The oddest thing about the whole movie and a note to anyone involved with making the film, was laughing suppose to be the most common noise heard throughout the movie?
Now for something more thrilling/scary/gross/horrifying and psychologically damaging then Shutter Island:
Check out AIBN for my more rant filled take on the movie.