Movie: Shutter Island  » Movies  »
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  • Even this is forgivable though, as Scorsese knows that the best part of any horror movie is not what waits at the end of the tunnel, but the long, slow creep through the shadows

    • by Jamie King

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      “Shutter Island” is the most recent collaboration between director/star dream-team Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio. This high-end horror movie follows troubled U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels as he investigates the disappearance of a dangerous patient from a foreboding mental hospital off the coast of Massachusetts. Teddy’s investigation raises more questions than it answers, and it quickly becomes clear that very little on Shutter Island is as it appears.

      Since 2002, Scorsese’s “Dicaprio Period” has seen the acclaimed duo conquer historical dramas, biopics, and gritty crime thrillers. Now they set their sights on horror movies, a genre that lends itself especially well to the director’s talents. A

      successful horror movie might draw the audience in with a good story, but most often it’s the images that end up etched on the viewer’s mind forever, and no one knows how to craft a shot quite like Scorsese. Through his lens, Teddy’s nightmares are transformed into meticulously composed works of art. A ransacked office becomes a monsoon of fluttering papers; a trickle of blood moves across white skin like a silk ribbon.

      It’s exhilarating to watch Scorsese sink his teeth into the tenants of horror with an almost Tarantino-like reverence. Rather than capitalize on the signature style that has made him an icon, he ...

      • chooses instead to showcase his interpretation of classic horror techniques, whether it’s the ominous, single-note theme that slinks through the score, or the way his camera winds around corners and stalks his characters like an unknown assailant.

        Still, he’s not a horror director, and the movie hits some of its marks with an almost perfunctory reliability that is hardly shocking. It lacks as many scares per minute as one might expect from the previews, and at times it risks settling into a holding pattern of unspecified menace.

        The cast is solid, led by a frantic Dicaprio, and featuring an especially heartbreaking performance by Michelle Williams as

        Teddy’s gone-but-not-forgotten wife. Ben Kingsley is delightfully creepy as the head doctor, and Mark Ruffalo exhibits a refreshing vulnerability as Teddy’s faithful partner.

        This movie is worth seeing for the gorgeous imagery alone, but it also provides an engaging and original story. The plot contains enough red herrings to keep you guessing, although the film sacrifices a good amount of plausibility in order to stick its convoluted twist ending. Even this is forgivable though, as Scorsese knows that the best part of any horror movie is not what waits at the end of the tunnel, but the long, slow creep through the shadows.

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