Posted by: Peter Hall
Directed by Martin Scorsese, 2010
Written by Laeta Kalogridis
If you’re already planning on seeing SHUTTER ISLAND this weekend, don’t read beyond. If you’re on the fence on seeing what it looks like when Martin Scorsese makes a horror movie, know that it is absolutely worth seeing, but do not read any further. It’s impossible for me to talk about it without treading on subjects best left unexplored until you’ve seen the film. So please, only read on if you’ve either already read the book, seen the film, or just don’t care about implied spoilers and are trying to waste time reading this at work (if that’s the case, just take off and go see the thing already).
This isn’t so much a review as it is a discussion of the film watching process. You’ve been warned.
SHUTTER ISLAND is maddeningly brilliant and the maddening part isn’t the film’s fault at all. We as viewers have grown accustomed to a certain breed of film from Hollywood whenever the words “psychological thriller” can be appended to a film’s description. Anyone who watches even a normal amount of movies and is over the age of, say, 16, should have a sixth sense for plot twists by now and can become bored when a film’s big revelation is as painfully clear as it is slow to arrive. When a film focuses on a Federal Marshall (Leonardo DiCaprio) sent to investigate the inexplicable disappearance of a patient at a mental institution for the criminally insane and the increasingly (and rapidly) bizarre behavior and hallucinations that surround him, you begin to concoct a certain conclusion in the back of your brain.