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Following his acclaimed debut, Shotgun Stories, writer/director Jeff Nichols reteams with actor Michael Shannon to create a haunting tale that will creep under your skin and expose your darkest fears. Curtis LaForche lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah, a six-year-old deaf girl. When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds those closest to him, but the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within his community can’t compare with Curtis’s privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify. Take Shelter features fully realized characters crumbling under the weight of real-life problems. Using tone and atmosphere to chilling effect, Nichols crafts a powerful psychological thriller that is a disturbing tale for our times.
The looming presence of Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) was made for a role like Curtis, the haunted protagonist of Take Shelter. On paper, Curtis would appear to be a normal mid-American husband and father; a construction manager, he has a wife (Jessica Chastain) and a hearing-impaired daughter, and a nice piece of land in tornado country. But, of course, he can't be entirely normal, because he's played by Michael Shannon. So, after suffering nightmares that gradually turn into waking hallucinations, Curtis becomes convinced that a great disaster is coming. His behavior, and his insistence on building out the storm shelter in the backyard, suggests he is either visionary or going out of his mind. This film by Shotgun Stories director Jeff Nichols is all eerie buildup, a series of ominous signs or concerned conversations. Because Shannon is such a formidable and uneasy presence, some of this is intriguing for a while (and Tree of Life star Chastain contributes her strong instincts to the marital scenes), but somehow by the end the whole thing feels more portentous than insightful, like a lofty take on an M. Night Shyamalan project but without Shyamalan's canny storytelling sense. --Robert Horton
Mesmerizing. Has to be seen to interpret. For the thinking cinemaphile.Published 10 days ago by Mfeather56
just such an excellent film. its a little slow but if you respect the amazing acting and are patient, you too will see the beauty of this film. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Ashley G.
I loved this movie. It's a slow burner, and you're never really sure what's happening until its over. A great psychological thriller and Michael Shannon is amazing in it.Published 1 month ago by DoctorWhom
One of my favorite movies. Definitely on my top 10 list. Perfect.Published 2 months ago by Lori A. Stringer
When a film has all sorts of film festival laurels on its cover I immediately get a bit suspicious. But in the case of Take Shelter, the plaudits don’t come from some fly-by-night... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tim Janson