Walled In (2009): Architectural Deviancy and Murder


As director Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s debut feature in the US and based on a French novel by Serge Brussolo, Walled In was perhaps not the best vehicle to show the celebrated French director’s talents. While not a bad film, it certainly doesn’t dazzle or overly impress.

With a boogeyman who stays (mostly) off-screen that is a maniacal architect working under the belief that if he incarcerate’s live victims into the walls of his creations that their horrific death will strengthen his buildings and allow them to stand forever, there is not a whole lot of jump scares or in your face terror in this horror/thriller.

Moving at a fairly pedestrian pace, the film follows Mischa Barton‘s character, Sam who is the first of the demolition specialising family of Walczak to graduate from college. Her present for this accomplishment is two-fold, she gets a trip to France with her hubby professor Peter (Naom Jenkins) and her first “solo” demolition job as an engineer.


The job is to set up a colossal monolith out in the middle of nowhere that has been built as a luxury apartment building by the world-famous architect Malestrazza (Pascal Gregory). Once she arrives at the apartments she meets Mary the caretaker (Deborah Kara Unger) and her only son Jimmy (Cameron Bright) plus two other residents who’ve refused to move.

After Sam arrives she learns of the building’s disturbing and deadly history and about the horrible death of the architect who built it.

While this film does have some “harrowing” moments, it suffers from a lack of real terror throughout. It is too predictable and slowly paced to build up anything to really deserve it’s genre of horror/thriller. I enjoyed Barton’s performance, but then I usually do, and Unger is always a treat in anything she does.


The real let down was Bright as Jimmy. Where his character is supposed to be deep, withdrawn and tragic, he comes across as snotty, secretive and self-centred. By the time the film’s “twist” is revealed, we’ve already guessed it and by that point do not really care.

Walled In is not a terrible film, it’s just not a great one. Easily watchable and one that you don’t have to pay a lot of attention to while viewing. The overall experience is a bit blasé and not thrilling at all; with a plot and story that befuddles and meanders all over the place and not a few plot holes, the film also suffers from a serious lack of logic that, I feel, may have been destroyed in the editing process.

A 3 out of 5 star film, just for some of the sets and the presence of Mischa Barton and Deborah Kara Unger (who I adore).

It is currently playing on Netflix at the moment in the UK.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

2 thoughts on “Walled In (2009): Architectural Deviancy and Murder”

Let me know what you think!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Health Tips Now

Health and Diet Tips


"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

%d bloggers like this: