Take Shelter (2011)
Brief review: While not technically a horror movie, "Take Shelter" is creepier and more unsettling than any other 'scary' film released over the past year, but it also succeeds on a dramatic level. It works as both, a psychological horror story and gripping drama, because it doesn't rely familiar gimmicks or in-your-face creepiness, as instead it focuses on the confusion, silent paranoia and troubled mental state of its intriguing main character, and keeps you wondering, whether his apocalyptic visions and dreams are result of his questionable insanity, or a real premonition. Plus, there's an unexplainable sense of dread throughout the film, that creates an atmosphere of uneasiness and forbidding fear, which shows best in the startling final 15 minutes of the movie. Set in a small Ohio town, "Take Shelter" is a visually simplistic, yet still beautifully-shot and precisely-executed film with a darkly subdued tone, some fine attention to small details, and a polished and exquisitely subtle direction by Jeff Nichols. There's a minimal use of CGIs, just to increase the overall visual and dramatic effect of this uniquely grim story, which contrasts well with the calming surroundings. Michael Shannon does a truly exceptional job portraying the quiet intensity and desperation of his mentally disturbed character, Curtis, and the 'chameleon' Jessica Chastain gives another stellar performance as his confused, yet loving wife, Samantha.