Shutter Island
 
Shutter Island ” is one of those psychological thrillers that will send chills down your spine.  It defies categorization:  it’s not really a horror movie, though the monsters within certainly rear their ugly faces.  It’s not really a romance, though one of the core pieces of the puzzle is the grief-stricken love between the main character, played by Leonardo De Caprio, and his late wife, played by Michelle Williams, who makes ghostlike, haunting appearances throughout.  Ben Kingsley is impeccable and unimpeachable as the psychiatrist who seems both sincere and cryptic at the same time.  They’re running some kind of strange experiment here, and though he appears to be forthright and charming, he’s obviously not telling everything he knows.
The setting is 1954, a remote island outside Boston Harbor, used as a prison for the criminally insane, that can only be accessed by ferry, and then only once a day.  It’s almost like crossing the River Styx----the ferryman seems preoccupied, is in a hurry to drop you off quickly, and you may very well never see him again.  There’s a huge storm brewing outside, sideways, gale-force winds---but inside the compound there are psychological storms of a different order.  We have disturbing dream sequences, threats of violence and hazy remembrances of foul play.  We flashback to the death camp that was Dachau .  We think we are solving a case of disappearance, but there’s much more to the investigation than meets the eye.  De Caprio’s character initially suffers from vertigo and disorientation on the ferry boat ride, but landing on the island doesn’t seem to help his sickness and confusion.  What’s going on here?
Well, to tell you any more would give away too much of the plot, if you’ve been fortunate enough to avoid hearing preemptory revelations already.  De Caprio is at his dramatic prime here, and the story, while dark and foreboding, is sufficiently complex to engage the intelligent viewer.  Fasten your seat belts.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
 
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas