Take Shelter (2011)

Director and writer Jeff Nichols has crafted a modern, ordinary, everyday horror story.  At first glance, nothing in Take Shelter appears to be of a terrifying nature, but when the intricacies of the story are revealed, when the full scope of it is exposed, the nature of the tale is one of terror.  I’m also quite shocked that Michael Shannon did not receive an Oscar nomination in the Best Actor category.  His performance in this movie was greater than the only other Oscar-nominated performance I saw in that category (so far), Brad Pitt in Moneyball.

Curtis (Shannon) is a hard-working guy in a small town, with a loving wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and a hearing-impaired daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart).  Seemingly out of the blue, Curtis begins to suffer from terribly real-feeling dreams of an apocalyptic storm arriving and wreaking havoc upon the world.  The dreams begin to seep into his everyday life, making him fear that he’s suffering from hallucinations and that his family’s history of mental illness is presenting itself in him.  Or that the dreams are a warning to prepare for that storm, and make everyone think he’s going crazy anyways.

It’s a masterfully directed movie, and the strength lies in the restraint shown by all parties until the tension simply cannot build anymore.  It’s remarkably tense, well-paced (probably too slow for most), and tremendously acted.  A truly great movie that is tragically unknown.

4 / 5

About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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