Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Director: Martin Scorsese
Running Time: 138 mins
Shutter Island is an American film about two federal marshals who are called to investigate the disappearance of one of the most dangerous patients at a mental institution on a lone island, however, they inadvertently discover many of the horrific goings on of Shutter Island…
This film is simply amazing. It’s a constant thrill ride, making for a rollercoaster of emotions that pulls you in and out of what is a fascinating story. Also, despite being a Scorsese film, you get an unbelievably unsettling and surreal atmosphere that makes for surprisingly frightening viewing in what shouldn’t be a horror movie.
Starting with the screenplay, it’s one of the most intelligent plots I’ve ever seen. Based on a 2003 novel, you get a truly engrossing story that manages to completely tie you up in the incredibly weird atmosphere of the story, and confuse you right from the start with the constantly changing objectives and conspiracies of the island.
Initially, the story seems like an interesting and classic mystery thriller, but within five minutes, there’s a flashpoint that completely changes the genre of the story into some sort of psychological horror mystery, as the marshals begin to discover that there’s something more sinister actually going on on the island.
And following that, everything goes wild. Again, the marshals’ objective changes again and again, all the characters become completely different as they develop thrillingly throughout, leaving you stuck in the middle of what turns into a chaotic and confusing thriller, frantically turning your head from left to right at every second.
There is a point at which nothing seems to make sense. Theories and conspiracies and insanities are constantly thrown at you, and that makes the rest of the story of completely unpredictable to watch, while also adding to the chaotic atmosphere of the story.
One of the most fascinating things about this film is the main character, Teddy Daniels. Throughout the film, you get images and flashes of his disturbed dreams, evidently reliving some past trauma, and that gradually begins to pull your attention away from the mystery story, and into the psychological aspect of the plot, as you discover that this calm and composed marshal seems to be slightly disturbed.
Technically, this film is also fantastic. It has a simple, yet effective score that really adds to the horror feel of the film, and the cinematography makes it a well-rounded and engrossing film to watch, with mixes between dark and grunge to just pure surrealism, making it a whole lot stranger to watch.
Overall, I’ll give this an 8.4, because it was a fascinating, thrilling and incredibly well-written and directed story that all culminates shockingly in the end.