A bland, predictable thriller
Another week rolls round, another Netflix thriller hits our screens. And unfortunately, if Locked In is anything to go by, this is another film that forgets to actually, y’know, thrill. The story is predictable, bland and riddled with flashbacks that take an age to get to the point.
The biggest crime with Locked In though is it adopts a trope that irritates many movie viewers. The film has a tendency to reveal crucial parts of the plot through dialogue before we cut back in time and then see that happen. While the central mystery is fine, this occurs for almost every single individual plot beat. As a result, there’s very little mystery or drama to be had here, and in the end the final reveal is so predictable you’ll have seen it coming a mile off.
That’s actually a bit of a shame because the basic premise does have some nice touches. We open with brief snippets of a crime occurring, before cutting into a POV shot of our comatose patient, Katherine. Only, it turns out Katherine has Locked-In Syndrome, so she can still communicate through blinking. We soon learn that murder is on the cards, and Neuro Clinical nurse Nicky Mackenzie is on the case to figure out what’s really going on. Who tried to kill Katherine? And why?
In a classic case of switch and bait though, the film then changes our protagonist to Lina Carter, the adopted daughter of Katherine. Through her, we learn more about the past, including Lina’s upbringing, ties to her kinda-sibling Jamie and how all of that ties into the family history, an inheritance and a beautiful manor house.
The central mystery rests on the crux of exactly who tried to murder Katherine, and why. For something like this to work, we need a multitude of different suspects. Perhaps it was the hired help? Maybe an accident? Or maybe it was premeditated? All of these questions are valid but instead, Locked In vouches for a very small cast that bottlenecks these questions substantially.
In fact, there’s five people in the main cast. One of them is the victim, and another is Nicky Mackenzie, in the present. That leaves us 3 people; Jamie, Lina and Dr Robert Lawrence. As one would expect, this doesn’t do the movie any favours in trying to weave a compelling mystery.
This is only compounded further by the editing, which haphazardly strings together these flashbacks with present-day scenes, all whilst adding in a whole bunch of padding along the way. We get long, drawn out scenes of characters moodily staring at one another or talking about trivial topics. Oh, and there’s three separate sex scenes as well.
All of this is compounded further by a distinct lack of development for almost the entire cast. Despite having only a handful of characters to work with – and some pretty talented actors here too – the film does absolutely nothing to develop any of them substantially.
Nicky is the biggest culprit here, and despite the promise of a larger role, she’s basically a footnote in this story, save for one crucial voice message late on that changes things. But with any mystery of thriller, there needs to be an element of danger… and there’s just not. The problem with doing so many flashbacks like this is that we know what happens before it plays out. As a result, you need to be clever with the screenplay and add in some twists, turns, or unexpected plot beats. Locked In fails to do any of that.
Locked In lacks the thrills to be an enjoyable thriller, and you’ll figure the “twist” long before the climax. If you’re “Locked In” for the night and want a good movie, steer clear of this bland-fest.
Read More: Locked In Ending Explained
Verdict - 3.5/10