Opening December 15, 2016
Directed by: Farren Blackburn
Writing credits: Christina Hodson
Principal actors: Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, Jacob Tremblay, Charlie Heaton
Child psychologist Mary (Watts) lives in a huge extravagant house in rural New England with her husband and stepson Stephen (Heaton). Teenager Stephen, however, is too troubling for the shrink, so she and her husband decide to send him away. Stephen is apoplectic. On the road to Stephen’s new boarding school, he and his dad fight, causing a head on collision with a truck. Dad dies. Stephen is left paraplegic with remarkably alert eyes for a vege.
Fast forward six months. At her home office Mary is psychoanalyzing little deaf Tom (Jacob Tremblay) who apparently is just plain mean. Back in the main house Stephen spends his days in a wheelchair parked in front of the TV, mute and immobile. Mary has decided to send Stephen to a care home, looking forward to the relief. Tom is being sent to a new place for care, making Mary quite distressed.
Sometime later, Tom shows up alone at Mary’s front door having managed to walk miles through the snowy forest to the remote house. Mary is pleased to see her pet patient again. But shortly after arrival, Tom disappears. Mary is distraught. She hears funny noises at night. She can’t sleep anymore. She investigates knocks and bangs with a flashlight. She talks to her own therapist, Dr. Wilson (Oliver Platt) with whom she consults by video link. He thinks she is having night terrors and needs some relaxing meds. After sending Dr. Wilson a blood sample, he learns that Mary is already being medicated with mind blowing drugs. Shock! Surprise! Not a spoiler as it is so obvious - it’s the evil stepson!
Billed as a psychological thriller, Naomi Watts needs a psychiatrist to figure out why she chose to play in such a lame film with no suspense, no surprises, no scares and certainly no thrills – except the thrill of walking out of the theater. ( )