Thursday, March 4, 2010

Movie Review: Shutter Island

An effective film is supposed to communicate ideas and evoke emotions. The latest Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration focuses on the latter and is easily the best film released in 2010 so far.

Those who know me well are aware that I rarely watch horror movies. However, I made an exception for this since it is not the typical slasher flick but a horror film with depth. And that depth comes from the strength of the cast.

Leo is one of the five best actors going, so of course he kills it. The most perfectly cast role is Ben Kingsley as Dr. Cawley, whose eerie charm is a major asset to the film's suspense. But the biggest surprise for me was Mark Ruffalo's performance as Leo's partner Chuck. I dismissed his ability after watching the dreadful "13 Going on 30," but he made up for it by proving me wrong here.

One thing that made this a truly great horror film is its effective use of setting. Most in this genre use the stereotypical rainy night to set the tone. This film offers a secluded island consisting of poorly lit fortresses, rough terrain and bad weather.

The purpose of this film is not to make the audience jump. Although it does have a couple of those moments, it also makes you think. And I guarantee it will keep you guessing til the end.

Grade: A-

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