Deborah Ross

From the Gothic to the Goth

Shutter Island<br /> 15, Nationwide The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo<br /> 18, Nationwide.

Shutter Island
15, Nationwide

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
18, Nationwide.

Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island is really rather outrageous. Thunder! Lightning! Crazies! Cliff drops! Creepy scientists! Nazis! It’s a madhouse thriller that plays like a wildly cranked-up B movie which, being Scorsese, must mean he intended it to play like a wildly cranked-up B movie. I can’t imagine he set out to make a deep, dark, intricately plotted mobster movie and this came out instead. What would he have said when he saw the final cut? Would he have slapped his head and exclaimed, ‘Bloody hell, where’s my mobster movie? This is a cranked-up B movie! I’m a schmuck!’? So, no, I think we can assume this is what Scorsese was aiming for, and? It’s not a serious film and it’s not even an especially suspenseful film but it is fun, in a Dr Caligari sort of way, and there is a surprise at the end that I just did not see coming, although you might. I’m just not that bright. Never have been; never will be. I accept this about myself now.

The story: set in 1954, this is about two US marshals —Teddy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) — who are dispatched to a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a child murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane. My, the island is spooky, with its cliff drops and electrified fences and, of course, impending storm, which soon means lashing rain and howling winds, and the phones going down, and the ferry being unable to run, and so no escape.

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