Shutter Island

PhotobucketPhotobucketStylish pulp thriller about two U.S. Marshals investigating the disappearance of a patient at a mental institution that houses the most criminally dangerous.  To say this film is slick would be an understatement.  A carefully chosen  classical score effectively creates a feeling of anxious dread upon first seeing the foreboding island.  Additionally the vivid cinematography makes the action more hyper-realized and visceral.  But there is a brain underneath the razzle-dazzle. This script of this psychological head trip of a film unfolds intelligently, only exposing what it needs to until the end when all is revealed.  Master director Martin Scorsese freely  borrow from past, notably Hitchcock, but it feels more like a homage than actual theft.  This is exciting stuff and a breathtaking reminder of how a competent thriller is done.

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10 Responses to “Shutter Island”

  1. SHUTTER ISLAND looks really promising. It’s probably not the usual Scorsese theme, but come on, what can’t the man do?

  2. I thought the dialogue was exceptional. Leo was amazing, as usual. The music really set the mood throughout.

  3. The trailer can either frighten you way from the film or draw you in…the trailer for “Shutter Island” looked so frightening, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see the film, but now after reading your review I’m really intrigued…Hope to see it this weekend.

  4. I think some people were expecting more of a straight up horror instead of thanks to the trailer. Stylish is also a word I’d use to describe this film. And the music? Also a major key to the success of the film. Perfect review.

  5. Kathy Ailand Says:

    Just saw this and Leo’s acting was amazing. I have questions about the ending though. . .

  6. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, and your review should whet people’s appetites.

    For me, the idea of a manipulated reality, as Scorsese represented it, reminded me a little bit of William Peter Blatty’s the Ninth Configuration and to a lesser degree, Franklyn. (Despite that being an oblique comment, I hope that doesn’t act as spoiler for anyone!)

    Nice work. Keep it up!

  7. From the very first frame, Scorsese establishes a sensation of impending doom that only worsens with the film’s growing paranoia. I think this picture is about the closest anyone’s going to see of Scorsese tackling the horror genre. Such darkness, such heart.

    And as a confirmed horror addict, I can also say quite confidently that Shutter Island pulls off the kind of endless, deepening dread that few films in the genre can. Not only does he never go for the cheap scare, but not once does the tension release, letting the audience up for air.

    • Martin Scorsese also tackled the horror genre before with 1991’s Cape Fear.

      I agree with you that the scares are genuine. A good example of a cheap scare is any loud burst of noise after a prolonged silence. The Wolfman is the latest film to be guilty of this tired tactic.

  8. GaryLee828 Says:

    “The Wolfman” was terrible! No lie, I promise you, as soon as the opening frame of The Wolfman started and the female narrator spoke I looked at my friend and was like “What is this? I’m afraid this movie is gonna suck”…and it did BIG TIME!!! I could tell it as soon as it started! One of the most disappointing movies to come out in some time as I had been so much looking forward to it.

    Scorsese’s “Cape Fear” was flawless!! One of my all-time favorites; i think it may actually be more of a “thriller” than horror, though. Either way, call a rose what you want…

    But “Shutter Island” was just twisty like a pretzel, and left the audience with a bunch of questions…and it was great! lol. I think Scorsese may have accomplished something here I may not have seen before, at least not to this extent; I think he told a confusing tale in a clear manner – or maybe he told a clear tale in a confusing manner. Either way, that ending was one of the best. I still think Leo’s character was crazy and the whole story was in-fact a role play, but others question that. I thought that was what Scorsese implied, but not everyone feels that way. But all of a sudden the scene at the beginning when Leo’s character arrives at the facility and the guards all become defensive now takes on an entirely different perspective and everything becomes much more eery.

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