Shutter Island (2010) Director: Martin Scorsese

Let's get some things straight first of all; Shutter Island runs too long and could be cut by about 15 minutes. It's also been criticised for its ending falling short of the first half of the movie which I have to disagree with - the ending of the film is actually what makes Shutter Island so exceptionally chilling and haunting. I can't say any more without giving the game away - but it's an exemplary piece of film-making from Scorsese.

We follow US Marshall Teddy Daniels (an excellent Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo) as they go to Shutter Island, the location of the Ashecliff Hospital for the criminally insane, to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando (I have purposely not put in who plays her - say no more). Teddy and Chuck meet Dr John Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the head psychiatrist, who explains Rachel was brought here after she drowned her three children in a lake. And then Teddy's strange dreams start - mostly about his time in the US army and of his dead wife Dolores (Michelle Williams), who perished in a house fire...after that, things turn very sinister indeed.

From the opening shots as we approach Shutter Island by boat with Teddy and Chuck, there is a sense of something extremely bad is going to happen and the music is absolutely haunting - it reminded me of The Shining - the music, the journey to and the first shots of the Overlook Hotel, a sense of whether Teddy is actually going mad, dream-like violent imagery and some real 'Come and play with us, Danny' moments. This is where the true horrors of Shutter Island lurk - three dead children who Scorsese doesn't shy away from and leaves us with images that stay with us, placed throughout the film to maximum shock effect, for example, a tiny watery hand reaching out. As mentioned, the real tragedy unfolds at the end of the movie - we won't go there - but it's heart-crunching and shocked me to my core.

Shutter Island is an exceptional psychological thriller that deserves to be watched again to understand how all of the dreams and flashbacks fit in with its ending. Dare you take the journey?