Movie Review: Take Shelter

Take Shelter (2011) is a film directed by Jeff Nichols and is the story of Curtis LaForche who lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha and six-year-old daughter Hannah, who is deaf.   Despite the struggles they face for health care for their daughter, they live a happy and healthy life together as a family.  Suddenly out of nowhere one day Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an approaching, apocalyptic storm. He suppresses his fear and anxiety over these disturbances and keeps them to himself, channeling his nerves into the obsession of building of a storm shelter in their backyard to protect his family from the disaster that awaits, as for foreseen from his dreams.  The shelter and Curtis’s fractured mind begin to takes it’s toll on Curtis and tests the bond between his family and his own sanity.

Amidst the story is the unsettling tone set by writer/director Jeff Nichols as you the view get to watch this seemingly normal man completely come apart at the seems over the course of two hours so meticulously perfect.   I admit I’ve yet to indulge into the world of Boardwalk Empire but that aside, this will be Micheal Shannon’s breakout performance as an actor.  Shannon is amazing at portraying a man slowly being driven to brink of sanity by disturbing visions that begin to blur into reality.  He portrays a sense of quiet desperation that makes it so easy latch on to as a viewer as he questions there the events unfolding are even real or not and makes this movie all the more terrifying. His performance just augments the unsettling tone and yet is maybe one of the most organic feeling films that will really effect you, if you let it.


There is a quiet desperation that may turn off some viewers who are looking for instant gratification as this film is a slow burn but I assure you that if you allow it, this film will creep inside your minds for days.  Even Among all the madness of watching Curtis suffer, in the heart of this movie is a touching love story of a family trying to cope with the world around them and everything thrown their way.  This review was tough because I’m trying to keep it spoiler free because the final twenty minutes actually pay off in a terrifyingly satisfying way.
The film is accompanied by a haunting score composed by David Wingo and a great closing song called “Shelter” by Ben Nichols who fronts a immensely underrated band Lucero and just so happens to be the brother of the director Jeff Nichols.  That aside this movie is a triumph for everyone involved and for myself I enjoyed it immensely and even more when I had a few days to think about it.  See this flick.



~ by ATOM on February 24, 2012.

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