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Saturday, February 11, 2012

[8.50/10] Take Shelter (2011)


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.

Overall summary: Quietly ominous, at times disturbing, but constantly compelling, and shot with a subtle beauty and refined care, "Take Shelter" is a seamless mixture of affecting drama and unconventional horror, led by Michael Shannon's astounding performance.

16 comments:

Ricky said...

I'll have to check this one out.

Nebular said...

Ricky, this is definitely a must-see gem of a mystery drama. Check it out as soon as you can.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have o look for it then!

Maynard Morrissey said...

One more movie I haven't heard of before. Looks and sounds extremely interesting!

Nebular said...

Alex, I'm not sure whether Take Shelter is your cup of tea or not, but it's definitely worth-seeing, and one of the year's best in my book.

Nebular said...

Maynard, you haven't heard of Take Shelter? Can't believe it. :)
As a true horror buff, I think you're gonna love it. Look for it.

Hey, Patrick Rea sent me the screener of Nailbiter earlier today. I'm so excited!

Melissa Bradley said...

Creepy is right up my alley be it horror or mystery. Can't wait to check this out. Your terrific review puts it in my must see column for sure.

Nebular said...

Mel, creepy is right up my street as well. This one was not obvious creepy, but it still gave me the chills. Ah, I just loved every bit of it. :)

Thanks for the compliment, hon. I can't wait to see what you thought of it.

farawayeyes said...

Believe it or not I actually saw a preview for this. It truly looks disturbing. Bases on your review I may consider giving it a second look when it actually comes to the island.

Nebular said...

farawayeyes, I don't think you'll be able to see on the big screen, because its release date was Sept 30, and that was a long time ago, but give it a shot as soon as it comes out on DVD. I assume that will be sooner than you imagine. :)

Matthew Vanacore said...

Excellent review!

I was going to see it last week, but then, as is often the case, something came up. Needless to say, your glowing thoughts and my failure to see it last week will be enough to inspire me to catch it this upcoming week.

Thanks for nudging me in the right direction :)

Nebular said...

Thank you, Matty.

Well, it's definitely not for everyone, but in my opinion, it's one of the best films of 2011.

I'll be glad to know that I made you wanna see it even more now. You're welcome, buddy. ;)

Craig Edwards said...

That thump you just heard was this movie landing on my "To See" list courtesy this fine review! Cheers!

Nebular said...

Craig, what an original comment. You made me smile. :) Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

Tom Badguy said...

Good review, I like it.

Nebular said...

Tom, glad you liked it.