Halloween Marathon: Take Shelter (2011)

Can you believe half of October is already behind us? We just wrapped up more than 2 weeks of Halloween marathon. I’m a little behind schedule so maybe I’ll be popping in some double review days or head into the next weekend with reviews as well. However, we are right on track with Friday the 13th series. If you missed any of them, I’ve updated the Halloween Horror Marathon page up in the menu on top so you can trace back whatever you’ve missed up till now :). If I remember correctly, I’ve reviewed 10 movies so far.  With work picking up steam, its a little harder to find time to watch movies during the week without it heading into some crazy 1 or 2am area (which I try to avoid).  Still, I’ll make this thing work out and I’m ready to go through a bunch of movies this weekend to be prepared for next week!

Are you ready to continue? The next review is Take Shelter.  I’ve grown to praise Michael Shannon especially after seeing The Harvest at Fantasia Film Festival this past summer.  If you missed that review, check it out HERE!  It works well with horror marathon because it is a psychological horror movie that is extremely creepy to watch and has an amazing plot.  Going into another psychological thriller  with Michael Shannon and with the Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%, I’m pretty intrigued as to what this is all about.

take shelterDirector: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon,

Curtis (Michael Shannon) wakes up one morning from a dream (or nightmare) of the world being attacked by a horrible storm.  Except it wasn’t the standard storm.  Following that, he is repeatedly plagued with these more and more apocalyptic, extremely real dreams that changes everything and everyone that he loves.  Unsure whether to believe if he is being affected with his mother’s psychological issues, he goes to seek for more help while having the nagging feeling that he needs to prepare for what could destroy his family.  Its then he gains an obsession of building a shelter against something that seems impossible to everyone else.

Take Shelter

Take Shelter is a heart-pounding and terrifying psychological trip.  There isn’t one moment you can let down your guard because you are right with Michael Shannon as he wavers between whether he is actually mentally ill or that he should believe there is a storm coming and he is having visions.  That is the question that will keep circling your head as you watch Take Shelter.  The way the movie is set up with the dreams or visions (whatever you want to call them), have this creeping feeling to this especially because it specifically has ominous background noise to intensify the situation.  The tone and atmosphere of the whole setting is done really well also.

Take Shelter

Michael Shannon is extremely convincing in his role as Curtis.  He is a husband who tries hard to make end meet and balance his life. His mother’s condition has impacted his family at a young age so he relies heavily on his brother who also makes an appearance.  At the same time, he loves his wife and keeps his promise to protect both his wife and young daughter.  As a father, he is learning to cope with his daughter’s hearing problem and communicating and connecting with her. As these “dreams” intensify, we watch as Curtis’s world crumbles as he tries to hide what is actually going on causing tension between him, his family, his work and the situation they are in.  Michael Shannon is simply amazing in this. I truly sympathized for this character quite a bit.

Although compared to the role of Curtis, everyone else is pretty minor. I still want to mention playing opposite him is Jessica Chastain as his wife.  I actually  haven’t seen her in anything yet. No, I have not seen Zero Dark Thirty.  She is completely new to me as an actress. His wife was an equally important role because she needed to question him on his actions and to be his strength when he was crumbling apart.  Her character grew on me by the end of the movie when she felt so essential to Curtis.

Take Shelter

There is so much to love about Take Shelter.  It gives off an intense unsettling feeling throughout the movie.  The main character is ambiguous as to whether the problem is him or that he is experiencing visions of an impending apocalypse.  As he waver between his belief, his obsessions may ruin his life but his intentions are clear that he wants to protect his family despite just being an strong feeling that this unreal situation is going to happen. Michael Shannon delivers a strong and convincing performance and the sound, effects, atmosphere and tone are done masterfully. Its terrifying, uneasy, and dramatic all wrapped into one.

This one is definitely worth a watch even if the ending will put even more questions into the equation. Thats actually what I love the best about this 🙂

Have you seen Take Shelter? What did you think about it? Thoughts on Michael Shannon and/or Jessica Chastain?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ending if you’ve seen this but to avoid spoilers, feel free to drop me an email 🙂