Shut In review – Vincent Gallo returns for clueless poke at Hollywood’s ‘liberal bias’

Donald Trump fan Vincent Gallo is out of acting retirement; he’s swapped his slippers for a syringe to play a seedy meth addict in this ropey survival thriller. It’s produced by conservative news website the Daily Wire, which is diversifying into movies in a bid to take on Hollywood’s so-called liberal bias.

Shut In is not for the squeamish; this is a Christian values movie with an unusually high quota of nasty bits. Rainey Qualley plays single mum of two Jessica, a recovering addict not long out of rehab. Jessica is moving out of the rural farmhouse she inherited from her grandmother, too broke to pay the taxes. The script is at pains here to paint pre-siege Jessica as shrill and unlikeable, constantly snapping at her adorable four-year-old Lainey (Luciana VanDette). Then Jessica’s junkie ex Rob (Jake Horowitz) shows up and for reasons not altogether plausible locks her in the larder with a 3g wrap of meth. Rob has brought along his drug buddy Sammy (Gallo) – and just in case you’ve missed Gallo’s intense, mean glower, we are quickly told that Sammy is a convicted paedophile. So for much of the movie Jessica is locked in a larder, desperate to escape and chipping away at the floor tiles to save her kids and find some redemption. (Spoiler: it gets God-bothery.)

This is a film with some excruciatingly wooden acting – though not by Gallo, whose presence makes every scene he’s in about seven times more interesting. The religious bits are fantastically unsubtle: at one point Jessica ends up with nails in her hands just like You Know Who. What’s really astonishing is how dull this gets for a film in which one character has his arm nailed to the floor with a screwdriver for several hours.

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