Movie Review: Take Shelter (2011)

Posted: March 9, 2013 in Drama, horror
Tags: ,

Take Shelter

Curtis (Michael Shannon) is a construction worker living in Ohio with his wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and their deaf daughter, Hannah. (Tovah Stewart) Suddenly, Curtis is plagued by weird visions, large storms, punctuated by viscous rain, large flocks of birds flying in precise patterns.  And Curtis dreams are worse than his visions, he dreams he gets bitten by his own dog, and he dreams that Hannah gets abducted by a strange old couple during a bad rainstorm.  After all these visions and dreams, Curtis decides to build a storm shelter.  When he borrows equipment from work and takes out a loan to build the shelter, Samantha gets angry, and Curtis seeks psychological help.  It turns out that Curtis’ mother, Sarah, (Kathy Baker) had psychological problems when Curtis was a child.  Is Curtis having real apocalyptic visions or just losing his grip on reality?

This is a very good and engaging psychological thriller, the plot is made more believable by the fact that Curtis is an ordinary blue-collar guy with a wife and daughter, the danger is made more palpable by the fact that Curtis is always with his daughter or wife in his nightmares.  The dramatic tension builds up really well, and well, I was less impressed by the ending, but I will leave that up to you who read this blog and decide whether you want to rent this movie.  Michael Shannon is very good as a man compelled to build this shelter and haunted by the memory of his mother. He gives a gritty performance.   Jessica Chastain is also very good as a woman frightened by the suddenly erratic behavior of her husband.  Tovah Stewart is a cute little girl, someone any parent would want to protect.  Take Shelter is a very good thriller, especially for an indie film.

Take Shelter:  Building a Mystery.

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