Directed by Nour Wazzi, Netflix’s ‘Locked In’ is a psychological thriller film about dysfunctional relationships getting highlighted amid mysterious circumstances. It’s the story of Lina, and Katherine told through flashbacks since Katherine is suffering from a condition where she’s paralyzed but still aware. While the nurse attending to Katherine tries to get to the bottom of her trauma, secrets about the strained relationship between the mother-in-law and legal guardian (Katherine) and Lina start unfolding.
Starring Famke Janssen, Anna Friel and Rose Williams, this British movie touches upon the issues of infidelity and murder while maintaining the suspense about what’s to happen. With complex characters and intense backstories, the movie tries to give the message that nothing is black and white. With so many true crime stories getting adapted and coming to the screens, let’s uncover the mystery behind the true story of this film.
Locked In is Not Based on a True Story
‘Locked In’ is the result of an original screenplay written by British director and screenwriter Rowan Joffe. While Joffe has expressed his love for adapting books into screenplays before as well, this film seems to be his original work. His love for telling a thoughtful story through films and capturing the essence of thrillers is what makes the narrative stand out. Joffe is best known for writing thriller TV series and films like ‘Tin Star’ and ‘Before I Go to Sleep.’ Moreover, even if it is not based on a true story, some characters like Katherine seem to be inspired by the many rags-to-riches stories of Hollywood celebrities who made a name for themselves.
Since the film involves murder, strained relationships and hints of ulterior motives and selfishness on the part of some characters, it’s not surprising for anyone to expect this one to be a true crime story, too. In fact, these themes seem to be taken directly out of real life, like in the case of Instagram star Abby Choi from Hong Kong, who was allegedly killed by her former husband and some family members over a property dispute and to acquire money. This resonates with the dominant theme of ‘Locked In,’ where there’s property involved, and murder comes into the picture and betrayal from the people closest to the victim since those involved value money more than anything else.
Some of these themes of ‘Locked In’ have also been discussed in many TV shows and films, giving us a déjà vu. Some of these include the 1998 thriller ‘Hush’ about a dominating mother-in-law who isn’t happy with her son’s wife and how much she means to him. Another film that seems to very closely resemble the plotline, which might make these elements seem similar, is the 2019 crime drama ‘Knives Out.’ It similarly follows a family where someone has died, and an investigation is conducted to find out who might be behind the murder.
It follows the young caretaker, Marta Cabrera, who somehow finds herself in the middle of family drama. The patriarch, who is being looked after by Marta, knows that everyone in his family has ulterior motives and is after his money, so he assigns a significant portion of his will to Marta. This leads to every family member getting jealous of her and thinking she doesn’t deserve the money. There’s plenty of backstabbing and attempts to win her trust, all to get to a piece of the pie. This feels similar to ‘Locked In’ because of the way it makes money central to the narrative and highlights peoples’ greed, which forces them to murder. It also takes a good look at dysfunctional relationships but with plenty of instances giving comic relief. In short, even if ‘Locked In’ is not based on a true story, it has plenty of elements taken from different places that easily convince us that it could be.