Movie review: Shutter Island (spoilers)

In movies revolving around an outsider investigating something at an insane asylum, there are two industry standard plot twists. Either:

  1. The protagonist is already a patient and will realize it near the end of the movie, or
  2. Through traumatic experience or foul play, the protagonist will become a mental patient.

Based on the trailer and the first half of the movie, I was pretty sure this one was the second case. But once the lead investigator revealed his origin story to his partner it became pretty obvious it was actually the first case. I had been enjoying it quite a bit, but most of the remainder seemed pretty predictable from then on, with our boy becoming more and more isolated and unhinged as the story went on. I was even disappointed by the big reveal of his turning point tragedy – yeah, sucks to be him, but are people really so fragile that they can become total reality-deniers because of something like that?

The ending introduced a plot twist that surprised me though. Even though the protagonist made what I consider the wrong choice in the end, what he said and the fact that he made the choice was something new in an otherwise cookie-cutter plot.

There are a few spring-loaded cats in this movie – whenever the sound goes dead, you know one is coming. The worst one (during the big reveal flashback) was actually just a sound effect, but it caught me off guard even though I should have expected it. I hate that.

Overall I’ll give it 6 out of 10 on the ‘A’ (ie not-a-B-movie) scale. Entertaining, not a waste of my time, but not outstanding.

Comments are closed.