Locked In 2023 is an engaging British dark thriller with plenty of plot twists and complex characters, writes GEMMA JOHNSON
TITLE: Locked In
RELEASED: 1 November 2023
DIRECTOR: Nour Wazzi
CAST: Famke Janssen, Rose Williams, Alex Hassell, Finn Cole, Anna Friel
Review of Locked In 2023
Typically, I tend not to pay attention to the viewing trends on Netflix. I find I don’t always relate to the content. I tried and failed to get into Bodies, which is currently a huge hit that everyone is raving about (sorry, don’t come at me!). I did spot ‘Locked In’, which is gracing the Top 10 films at the moment, a dark psychological thriller – right up my street – but would it live up to the hype?
Locked In (2023) is a British film with a solid cast, including the likes of Anna Friel, who plays Nicky the Nurse, and Finn Cole of Peaky Blinders as Jamie. It is directed by Nour Wazzi and was released on Netflix on 1 November – it is a very new film.
The plot focuses on Katherine, who has been seriously injured; she is unable to move or speak and can only communicate through movement in one eye. How was she injured? Who was to blame? And why? Potential culprits are Jamie, the stepson, Lina, the adopted daughter; and Dr. Robert, the family GP. But nothing is as it seems.
The film begins with Katherine being in hospital; it was shot from her perspective, as though we were there and looking through her eyes. This point-of-view filming technique immediately puts you in the mindset of Katherine being the victim. The perspective shifts in and out of this as we see Nicky the Nurse try to communicate with Katherine through the use of an alphabet board.
The narrative shifts from the events of the past to the present; each segment we see builds up a picture of the complicated home lives of Katherine, Jamie, and Lina. Katherine adopted Lina following the death of her mother, who was formerly Katherine’s best friend. Jamie and Lina then grow up together, with Lina taking somewhat of the responsibility for caring for Jamie, who has a whole host of physical and mental illnesses.
There are many plot twists within this film, something that I enjoyed because it kept me engaged. I don’t want to give too many of them away because I don’t want to spoil the viewing experience for you, but one of them is that Jamie and Lina get married; they are more like brother and sister, so this seemed to be a marriage of convenience rather than one of love. You may wonder why I say convenience. Well, Jamie can’t leave the house because of his ailing health, and he wants to protect his fortune, so Lina seems like a safe bet.
Katherine is incredibly wealthy – huge gothic-style mansion with acres and acres of land wealthy. Lake with an island in the middle wealthy. Katherine is not the blameless victim that we may think. The relationships between Jamie, Lina, and Katherine are fragmented, tumultuous, and underhanded. In fact, no one is innocent here by any means, and we haven’t even got to talk to slimy GP Dr Robert.
Dr Robert, on the surface, seems genuinely caring, being the GP for Jamie and supporting Lina and Katherine with his care. But he takes his bedside manner way too far and breeches his Hippocratic oath on several occasions here. He becomes very over familiar with Lina and Katherine, zooming around the sprawling estate in a souped-up SUV; yes, it also has tinted windows (draw your own conclusions from that).
Without being a complete plot spoiler, Jamie dies in a tragic “accident”, when you watch it, you will know why I have used quotation marks. His death happens before Katherine’s “accident”, so that immediately rules Jamie out as a suspect – unless ghosts can actually cause harm from beyond the grave.
We see Nicky trying hard to connect with Katherine and find out what happened to her through the use of the alphabet board. Her efforts pay off, and we finally discover the truth, or do we?
My review may seem rather vague and non-specific; this is deliberate because I want you to experience the tension and drama that are engrained throughout; giving away too much of the plot would spoil that. The film is cleverly made; there are twists and turns at every corner, and nothing is what it seems. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I encourage you to give it a go. It is dark, dramatic, and moody – ideal for a cold November evening.
Yes, it did live up to the hype, but I still stand by not paying attention to viewing trends. I like being a rebel too much.
Tell us your views of Locked In 2023 in the comments section below!