This was one creepy movie. My first film for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII event. I usually avoid scary movies. Horror movies with psychological aspects or with blood and gore... either way, they are pretty much off limits. Supernatural I can deal with, but still avoid. But I knew that Dennis Lehane is not really a writer in the horror genre, so I felt like there had to be more to this than it appeared (from the trailers).
I came to this movie with no knowledge of the book or the plot. I have read two and a half Dennis Lehane books, and while I find him a very talented writer, I find his books too intense for me. At least the thrillers. So I had no interest in reading Shutter Island. My husband bought the DVD and I knew I was going to watch it, so I intentionally avoided all reviews or comments on the movie.
Shutter Island starts with a scene on a boat going out to Shutter Island, taking two U.S. Marshals to investigate the case of an escaped inmate at a mental institution. The pair are partners, but they are meeting for the first time on this assignment.
The film also starts with spooky, ominous music. I was pretty freaked out just by the music. And with plenty of rain and bad weather, on a remote island, the mood is set.
After the marshals arrive, they are introduced to the doctor who runs the institution, which is run more like a prison. The main character, Teddy Daniels, begins to have dreams, hallucinations, flashbacks to memories of past traumas. At that point, I wasn't sure where the movie was going.
I am a stickler for not revealing enough of a plot to ruin it for someone who has not watched a movie or read a book, and I don't know how much I can say about this movie without doing that.
An aside: This was the perfect time period for me. Post-World War II with flashbacks to the war and the aftermath. I love mystery novels about World War II and the lead up to the war and the post-war years. Had I known the setting for this novel, I might have given it a try earlier. But I am glad I didn't. Seeing the movie would have been a different experience if I had.
My recommendation: If you don't mind scary movies, some blood and gore, then watch it. After watching it, I felt like it was really well done. While watching, I was in a state of confusion much of the time. The book and the movie had mixed reactions when released, and they are not everyone's cup of tea.