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Perhaps the most glaring unfilled market demand is for cinema entertainment that’s not swaddled in progressive messaging or formatted to appease Chinese theaters.
The Daily Wire, founded by Ben Shapiro and Jeremy Boreing, will release its first original film, Shut In, Thursday on YouTube.
Shut In focuses on a single mother named Jessica, portrayed by Rainey Qualley, who’s a broke and recovering addict. The film features just three adults and Jessica’s two children. The bulk of its scenes take place inside a dark room, channeling every viewer’s claustrophobic paranoia.
After initially locking herself into the pantry, Jessica’s abusive ex-boyfriend Rob (Jake Horowitz) throws her back into the cramped space without a cell phone and leaves the house. Jessica cannot get out of the room while home alone with two young children. And soon after, Rob’s friend, a sadistic child molester called Sam (Vincent Gallo), invades the home to find Jessica’s daughter.
Suspense films are at their best when viewers put themselves into the characters’ shoes. Any viewer, particularly a mother, will become enthralled with Jessica’s terrifying predicament. A desperate Jessica now sits alone in a small room tempted by drugs while a monstrous figure roams alone with her two kids.
Screenwriter Melanie Toast takes a Breaking Bad-ian approach, often writing Jessica into impossible corners before quickly writing her out of what appears to be the final stage of the journey.
Critics will dismiss Shut In as political because of its association with Ben Shapiro, who might not be the Left’s most hated commentator but who sits comfortably in the top five. Yet the film is more traditional than political.
Jessica’s character arc is that of a desperate mother. Shut In portrays the film’s sole female adult in a motherly role, not a heroine in a male role, a common practice now in Hollywood filmmaking. See Mare of Easttown, a cop drama in which HBO cast Kate Winslet for a role clearly meant for a man.
Shut In embraces Christian symbolism, a theme of films from long ago. In a time of desperation, Jessica turns not to super #GirlPower but to the Bible. Had the movie aired on Hulu, Jessica would have broken down the fortified door with her sheer strength and killed the molester with her bare hands. She would have put Arya’s heroics late in Game of Thrones to shame.
The film’s simple format is a product of spending more time entertaining than preaching. Shut In does not convolute its storyline with unnecessary characters to prove the filmmakers are inclusive of all groups, including the CCP. Nor does Shut In force a sex scene full of naked dudes to serve whatever purpose those have.
Shut In is no Cuties, a Netflix film for pedophiles, the critics will warn you. Instead, it’s a film you will enjoy and feel no need to tweet a screenshot of to prove you watched it.