The Daily Wire has been quite busy over the last week, debuting their much-awaited thriller Shut In to audiences via its website and YouTube, while also debuting trailers for two new films – The Hyperions, and Terror On The Prairie. The timing, while obvious, couldn’t have been better, especially as we move further into 2022.
Recently, Bounding Into Comics predicted that 2022 would be the year when the cultural pendulum finally started swinging back in favor of the fans, and away from the pretentiousness of egotistical Hollywood elitism. Films like Shut In are helping to turn that theory into a full-fledged reality.
We were one of the first outlets to review Shut In for audiences, and did so a few days in advance of the film’s release. In our review, we said that the film had a few minor narrative flaws that were incapable of derailing the larger narrative, not to mention the great atmosphere. In the end, we scored the film 8/10, with strong praise directed towards the actor performances and directorial style.
It seems that mainstream critics largely agree with our take, while audience reviews are similarly stellar. Currently, Shut In is enjoying a whopping 100% critic score, and a 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is quite astonishing in itself.
And here’s the reason why.
Typically, Conservative media projects tend to get attacked by critics, many of which are dubbed “access media,” a moniker meant to describe a tendency to give glowing movie reviews, simply for the sake of establishing cozy relations with the studios in question. This habit has picked up steam in recent years, but it’s been around for a while.
Video game journalists and news outlets have been suffering from this problem for the last two decades, if not more. There are multiple recorded instances of video game developers threatening to yank advertising dollars if certain publications didn’t score their games higher. For some, a negative review was akin to financial suicide.
Later on, the trend started to operate in reverse. News outlets would review video games, TV shows, or movies with ridiculously favorable reviews, simply to court favor with studios in the hopes that they’d get access to red carpet events, or an insider scoop on future projects. The grift is real, and it’s been going on for years.
Our review of Shut In was done with objectivity and honesty in mind, and it would have been both dishonest, and counterproductive to simply slap a perfect 10 (or even a 9) on a film that we knew was deserving of an 8. Hence, we stand by our review, and it seems to run parallel with what most audiences think.
Granted, any sort of review is subjective, and not everyone will be interested in a film with a premise like Shut In. However, that’s a far cry from purposely dealing a low score to a movie, simply because the reviewer in question doesn’t agree with the politics of the studio, or the distribution company.
The largest and longest-running gag on Rotten Tomatoes is the comparison between critic and audience review scores, which tend to skew opposite one another in a vast swathe of cases. It’s rare for the two to ever line up and agree on anything, but in this case, both sides have found common ground.
Of course, it’s also fair to point out that Shut In currently has only 5 critic reviews to its name, as opposed to Liam Neeson’s latest film Blacklight, which currently has 68. Shut In is being ignored by outlets like Vulture, The Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press, but that’s largely to be expected.
In fact, it’s a revelation.
The refusal of these outlets to review a film produced and released by The Daily Wire is a signal that Hollywood is terrified of giving any sort of attention to alternative choices. Would it not be prudent for them to score the film with a certified rotten rating? Is it because they’re afraid of giving The Daily Wire any sort of indirect marketing?
It seems likely, especially since this particular industry tends to be rather tight-knit. Who’s to say that rival studios would not become enraged if Vulture decided to review Shut In, and pique audience curiosity in the process? Even ScreenRant has completely passed on the film, which is no surprise, given that all of these outlets are far-Left.
Ironically, Shut In is not a “right wing” or “Conservative” film. In fact, by all measurable standards, it’s politically center, or slightly Right of center. However, The Daily Wire is very open and upfront about its Conservative leanings, which means any content it produces or distributes will be met with a negative backlash.
Radical Left outlet Pajiba.com was quick to voice its disgust over the fact that The Daily Wire acquired the distribution rights for their upcoming superhero comedy film The Hyperions. The headline read “Yes, Mr. Elwes. That Is The Face We Made On Seeing The Trailer For ‘The Hyperions,” in reference to a shot of his character with a grimace.
Author Claude Weaver III immediately vaulted into a predictably bizarre rant over his disappointment at the fact that such a film is under the distributive control of a politically intolerant competitor. In fact, he refers to The Daily Wire as working with “spewers of antisemitic and racist garbage,” obviously a distorted and altogether false narrative attack on Mandalorian actress Gina Carano, who is philosemitic.
The irony, however, is when Weaver said, “Originally starting as an online news publication, The Daily Wire recently started expanding into film and books as a more American conservative counterweight to the “wokeness” of Hollywood. Which makes the sight of Elwes in a trailer for one of their projects a bit… confusing, to say the least.”
And there it is – the Left’s incurable blind spot when it comes to understanding Conservativism as it relates to the entire spectrum of culture.
Weaver finds it impossible to understand why actor Cary Elwes, who is known for his hatred of Conservatives, would be attached to a film distributed by The Daily Wire. Elwes recently attempted to dunk on Republican Senator Ted Cruz, only for Cruz to turn the tables on the actor with a spectacular comeback tweet.
But, that’s neither here nor there.
The point Weaver (and the generalized Left) can’t seem to grasp is why The Daily Wire is getting into movies in the first place. To paraphrase popular The Daily Wire commentator and co-founder Ben Shapiro, “Hollywood hates you.”
He’s not wrong.
Distributing a film starring an actor who regularly attacks Conservatives is the actual point. It’s designed to make the case that Conservatives aren’t willing to cancel folks who don’t agree with their own political opinions, and in fact, will prop them up when they finally do “shut up and act,” and crank out a good performance.
This is something the Left are not mentally capable of understanding. For them, any opinion that dissents from echo chamber groupthink must be immediately exorcised and immolated for the sake of preserving their fragile sense of self-identity. Conservatives, on the other hand, don’t give a flying toss if folks disagree with them.
In fact, Conservative politics are far more in line with the overwhelming majority of the country at this moment in time. The radical Left, on the other hand, represent only a small 6% to 10% fraction of the overall liberal-thinking base, which is estimated to be around 25% of the population, according to a January 2022 Gallup poll.
The rest are either moderate, or Conservative at an average of 35% to 50%, and 30% to 40%, respectively, depending on race. Of special note are black voters, 20% of which identify as Conservative, followed by moderate at 51%, and liberal at 26%. This single stat throws a spanner into the Left’s demographic hypothesis, and identifies a massive flaw in Woke ideology.
If Conservative cultural voices make their move now, they can capitalize on a market that has largely been abandoned by a radical fundamentalist movement that has obliterated its own cultural foundation. Now’s the time to strike, when the ideological enemy is weak, and only growing weaker by the day.
Also, The Daily Wire seems to understand what a large swathe of Conservatives do not; that culture matters. Many in the Conservative sphere have criticized The Daily Wire for going down this path in the first place, accusing them of hypocrisy, naivety, and even Wokeness, which is rather bizarre.
Shut In’s critical success is a shot across Hollywood’s bow. It’s The Daily Wire’s way of telling them that other companies can successfully get into the movie business, and make it work. Granted, the company has a long way to go before it can compete with the massive mega-studios, but Rome was not built in a day.
For instance, New Line Cinema was formed in 1967, and mostly handled foreign art films with minimal-to-modest success. It wasn’t until A Nightmare On Elm Street saw its 1984 release that New Line really took off. With a budget of just over $1 million, Nightmare grossed $57 million at the box office, and New Line suddenly became “the House that Freddy built.”
In the modern age, filmmaking is easier than ever, thanks to technological advancements, and the ease at which even small studios can turn out relatively solid projects on shoestring budgets. Hollywood knows that it’s only a matter of time before a rival manages to tap into the market, and steal their thunder.
And let’s face it – Hollywood isn’t making it any easier on themselves. While they try to downplay films like Shut In, they continue their campaign to alienate as many moviegoers as possible with Woke messaging written by incompetent, inexperienced political zealots.
Waiting for culture to change on its own is a sucker’s game, and indicative of the generalized attitude of Conservatives over the last 50 or so years. By ceding the cultural battle to the Left, Conservatives abandoned the gates, and allowed ideological invaders to rush through unabated. Now, we sit around complaining about it.
Supporting alternatives to Woke Hollywood is the only path forward. One of two things will happen – either Hollywood will implode, and an entirely new market will emerge that is driven by non-Woke creatives, or Hollywood may finally get the message, and start purging all of its Woke staff in preparation for a comeback.
Films like Shut In, The Hyperions and Terror On The Prairie are meant to galvanize in either of those two directions, while inspiring other directors, writers, and studios to follow suit. The Daily Wire might end up leading the charge on the cultural front, as opposed to being a simple soldier on the frontlines.
Either way, Shut In deserves its praise for doing a lot within its own oversaturated genre, and it’s one brick in the foundation of what hopefully will be a bold, bright, and optimistic counter-culture movement that is already picking up steam in 2022.
The question is, will Conservatives set aside their jaded nihilism, and embrace it?