At first glance, Shutter Island
would seem an odd movie to review for a science fiction site. It opens as a noir thriller, with homage to such movies as Out of the Past
, In a Lonely Place
and The Big Combo
, and is set in 1954, at a time when the House Un-American Activities Committee whipped up anti-Communist paranoia. However, little screen time elapses before one realizes that the noir elements in fact share space with three other genres: Gothic, haunted house story and existential horror movie, with twists and reversals reaching frantic levels as it spin towards its climax.